December 2, 2022

CIAC to adopt six-division format for state football championships

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The increase in the number of teams to qualify for the CIAC football playoffs has been talked about for some time.

Tuesday it became a reality.

The CIAC Control Council has approved a new six-division format for the playoffs starting next year.

“It was a question from the Connecticut State Coaching Association wanting to make this happen,” said Gregg Simon, associate executive director of the CIAC and a staff member of the organization responsible for the football committee.

The current format includes four divisions (LL, L, M and S classes) with eight teams qualifying for each division and then three rounds of the playoffs.


Hamden’s trainer, Tom Dyer, is also a member of the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA), which set up the original proposal. He said the proposal was approved by 88 percent of the membership.

“It’s an amazing thing considering how a lot of voting has gone in the past,” Dyer said. “We want to increase access for the playoffs. It’s very difficult to make the playoffs in the sport of soccer. Someone with an 8-2 record may not make the state playoffs this year. It’s the same as telling a basketball or softball team that’s 16-4 that you can’t make the playoffs.

Dyer said it then had to be approved by the CIAC football committee. After that, he had to be approved by both the CHSCA and the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors before appearing before the CIAC supervisory board on Tuesday.

Simon said state athletic directors were even more supportive of the new format than state coaches. The CIAC sports medicine advisory committee also approved, Simon said, what Glenn Lungarini, CIAC executive director, called a “negligible” adjustment to the rules controlling contact time.

“This equates to a 12-minute reduction over the course of the year,” Lungarini said.

This is the first major expansion of the state playoffs since the current format was created in 2010, which added a quarterfinal and reduced the state playoffs to four divisions. It marks a return to a six-champion format that was last used between 2002-09.

The CIAC said it would base all six divisions on enrollment for one-school programs and on a enrollment-based formula for co-ops, with successful choice schools increasing by one grade.

Dyer said there would be “30 other teams in play for the playoffs” if there were six divisions this season.

“If the goal is to get more teams involved in the state tournament that’s a good thing, but ultimately it will depend on who ends up in which division,” said the sporting director of Norwalk, Doug Marchetti. “Depending on how that breaks down, you could potentially have a strong team in a division with weaker teams and that team can probably order the state championship trophy before the season even starts. Then you might find others where you’ll be in charge of really strong teams.

SCC commissioner Al Carbone said the new format would only help the Connecticut High School Football Alliance, which includes the majority of state conferences, plan games.

“Now teams don’t have to fear the good games for fear of missing the playoffs,” Carbone said.

Dyer and Carbone don’t think the expansion will dilute the playoffs, but instead provide more opportunities for teams to have a shot at qualifying for the playoffs.

But not everyone feels that way.

“For a small state like Connecticut, I think that’s ridiculous. It sort of fits with the idea of ​​’everybody getting a trophy’, ”New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. “If you have six divisions, why not put all the co-ops in one division and then all the schools you want in another division? It makes more sense than what they do.

There have been discussions over the years about increasing the number of playoff teams in the current division setup. But that would have meant increasing the number of playoff weeks, starting in mid-November, and relegating Thanksgiving games to be meaningless, or played earlier in the season.

This new format will allow the regular season to always end with Thanksgiving Day and not increase the playoff round.

“It’s a much better option than expanding the playoffs to 32 teams, shortening the season and getting rid of Thanksgiving,” said Ansonia coach Tom Brockett.

Carbone said, “Obviously these games are always a source of heated discussion.”

[email protected]hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli. Editors Michael Fornabaio, Dave Stewart and Sean Patrick Bowley contributed to this story.

MOCK DIVISIONS BASED ON THE COURSES OF THIS YEAR

CLASS LL (757-up) (23)

  • Danbury 1787
  • Greenwich 1366
  • New Britain 1319
  • West Hill 1230
  • Trumbull 1114
  • Stamford 1088
  • Norwalk 1013
  • NFA 982
  • Southington 972
  • Hamden 930
  • Glastonbury 915
  • Staples 909
  • Hartford East 894
  • Brien McMahon 886
  • West Haven 868
  • Manchester 858
  • Wilbur Cross 835
  • Crosby 793
  • Ridgefield 793
  • Fairfield Warde 770
  • Enfield 757
  • Fairfield Ludlowe 757
  • Hall 757

CLASS L (617-756) (23)

  • Fairfield 743 preparation
  • Friendship Reg. 734
  • Kennedy 734
  • Conard 729
  • Darien 725
  • Newtown 722
  • Bridgeport Central 707
  • Harding 702
  • Shelton 699
  • New Canaan 689
  • Simsbury 678
  • New Milford 673
  • Windsor South 672
  • Naugatuck 670
  • Cheshire 665
  • Newton 664
  • Xavier 663
  • Wilby 661
  • Maloney 647
  • Farmington 636
  • Downtown 635
  • Wilton 626
  • Hill House 617

CLASS MM (518-616) (23)

  • Bristol City Center 605
  • Wilcox technology. / Kaynor Tech * 600
  • Fitch 579
  • Norwich Tech / St. Bernard / 571
  • Grasso Tech *
  • Pomperaug 570
  • Guilford 569
  • Windsor 569
  • Wetherfield 567
  • Stratford 558
  • Cheney Tech 551
  • Bristol East 545
  • Wolcott Tech / Nonnewaug /
  • Wamogo * 539
  • Hartford Public 536
  • Ellis / Putnam / Tourtellotte * 536
  • Daniel Main 535
  • Lyme East 534
  • New London 534
  • Woodstock Academy 534
  • Vinal / Goodwin / Whitney * 531
  • Flat 530
  • Bunnell 526
  • Masuk 520
  • Platt Tech 518

M CLASS (423-517) (23)

  • EO Smith 512
  • Abbott Tech / Immaculate * 512
  • Bassick 509
  • North Haven 504
  • Avon 501
  • Bethel 497
  • Notre-Dame, WH 495
  • Locks Windsor / Suffield / 491
  • Granby East *
  • Torrington 490
  • Lyman Room 489
  • SMSA / University / Classical / 470
  • Bulkeley / HMTCA *
  • Berlin 468
  • Bullard-Havens / Kolbe Cath. * 463
  • Bloomfield 461
  • RHAM 459
  • Coventry / Windham Tech / 453
  • Bolton / Lyman Mem.
  • Granby / Canton * 439
  • Coginchaug / Hale Ray / 439
  • East hampton
  • Rockville 436
  • East Haven 432
  • Water city 425
  • Joel Barlow 423
  • Jonathan Law 423

CLASS SS (354-422) (23)

  • Branford 420
  • Foran 415
  • Ellington 412
  • Weston 412
  • Civic / MLC / AAE * 410
  • O’Brien Tech. 409
  • IA Prince 406
  • Waterford 398
  • Gilbert / NW Reg / Housatonic * 383
  • Plainville 379
  • Saint-Joseph 377
  • Tolland 376
  • Sheehan 374
  • Montville 373
  • Bacon Academy 371
  • Lewis Mills 369
  • Reg Valley / Old Lyme * 366
  • Wolcott 361
  • Cromwell / Portland * 358
  • Windham 358
  • Ledyard 357
  • New Fairfield 355
  • Rocky Hill 354

CLASS S (Up to 353) (23)

  • 337
  • fatally 335
  • Amistad 332
  • Wood 326
  • Seymour 319
  • AOC 317
  • Stafford / E. Windsor / Somers * 315
  • Ansonia 310
  • Haddam-Killingworth 305
  • Morgane 298
  • Griswold / Wheel * 283
  • Bloomfield 266
  • Plainfield 266
  • Eastern Catholic 252
  • Oxford 247
  • Holy Cross 236
  • North Branford 231
  • NW Catholic 230
  • Capital / Realization * 228
  • Vieux-Saybrook / Westbrook * 217
  • Notre-Dame, Ffld. 209
  • Saint-Paul 200
  • Derby 186

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