24 May 2012

New Conferences for the 2013 High School Season


As distributed to the coaches this morning:

A: SLUH, DeSmet, CBC, Marquette, Lafayette, Ft. Zumwalt West
B: Lindbergh, Eureka, Parkway South, Mehlville, Oakville, Pattonville
C: Kirkwood, Parkway North, Chaminade, Summit, Parkway Central, Parkway West
D: Ladue, University City, Clayton, MICDS, John Burroughs

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7 Responses to New Conferences for the 2013 High School Season
  1. There have been questions on how these came about. The conference breakdown is solely based on the enrollment totals as listed by MSHSAA for the 2012/2013 school year. This includes multipliers. Visit MSHSAA.org to find more information on enrollment totals. No considration was given to natural rivalries, matchups, who wanted to play who, etc.; it is all based on total enrollment.

  2. Other than All-Conference Selections (and this alignment may help in that regard), does this have any practical impact?

    • Disclaimer: these are all MY opinions and not the opinions of MWP, MICDS or JCWP.

      Seems like there are two questions: 1) why have conferences? and 2) why this alignment?

      I think the purposes of having conferences at all is scheduling, because if some coaches were left to their own devices, they wouldn’t schedule an adequate amount of games. If we were all just lumped together in one conference, the scheduling would be even more uneven than it is now. Going to more conferences (4 instead of 3) has the dual benefit of being able to recognize more athletes (i.e. more all-conference teams) and allowing more flexibility to schedule out-of-conference games (instead of having 6 mandated conference games, now there are only 4 or 5).

      The alignment makes sense to me for two reasons: 1) it’s the most objective way to do it, even more than geographic 2) as new teams come on board, it’s very easy to slide them into the conference they belong in. There is an added short-term benefit of getting teams that don’t play out-of-conference games to see some new teams. It also breaks up some traditional rivalries (SLUH-MICDS, Eureka-Summit, etc.) so if coaches want to continue those rivalries, they must schedule an out-of-conference game – which again speaks to the benefit of seeing more teams throughout the year.

      I think one of the biggest issues with our current crop of coaches is that they don’t see enough of other teams. Granted, coaches have families and can’t spend all day at the pool, but when I was at CCP, we played DeSmet 5 times in one year and there were at least 5 teams I never even saw play in my two years there. That’s partially my fault for not scheduling Summit, Eureka, Mehlville, FZW, etc. – but the system didn’t allow for much flexibility to get those games and now I think it does a little bit more (still not perfect).

  3. To follow on Mr. Erlinger’s question, do conferences determine schedules? And thereby strength of schedule impact on standings? (Understanding that the only standings that count are final standings, but where is the fun in waiting until the end?)

    I found the MSHSSA website to be a little difficult to navigate. The Search Box on the website didn’t give a clear direction when I typed in ‘enrollment totals’. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that was entirely my fault.

    Thank you for addressing this Mr. Jimenez.

    • Yes – each team has to play each team in their conference every year, and not in a tournament.

  4. I think the new alignment will cause changes in scheduling only because you have to play your conference teams. I seems to me that most teams play the same teams and tournaments each year unless there is some scheduling confict. I also think that some teams are never going to schedule a non-conference game against certain teams for various reasons. So, the only way they would play would be in a tournament. Which leads me to believe that there will still be lots of coaches who never see certain team and players play during the high school season. It is always interesting to see how many games/tournaments coaches decide to play. I did a little math and teams played an average of 23.85 games in the 2012 season with the high being 37 and the low being 16. So, the conference alignments can’t be a that huge a piece of scheduling with that kind of discrepancy in games played. The other odd thing I see in the games played here are the number of times teams end up playing each other because of playing in the same tournaments. The high number above represented DeSmet. For the 37 games they played they only had 22 opponents. They played one team 4 times and 4 teams 3 times each. On the other end was Mehlville. Even in only 16 games they only had 11 opponents. They played 2 teams 3 times each. So, I guess my point is that if we want to get more balance in scheduling it probably has to come from our tournaments. Teams (or the teams organizing the tournaments) need to switch up who plays in what tournaments to gain balanced schedules.

  5. I think geographical proximity made the most sense. Less transportation costs in terms of time and money. The size of a school does affect outcomes to a small degree, but it’s not significant enough to impose further costs on schools, coaches, fans and players.

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