Southern Section prepares to present new football playoff proposal

Rob Wigod is the commissioner of the CIF Southern Section.
(Andrew Turner / Los Angeles Times)

There’s going to be some interesting conversations in Palm Springs this weekend when the Southern Section Executive Committee meets.

No. 1 on the agenda is discussing a proposal to revise the way teams are placed in football playoff divisions. Currently teams are assigned before the season based on recent performances. The Southern Section proposal would rank all teams based on their 2020 performance at the end of the season. Thus no one would know what division they are in until after the final regular season game.

It would require a huge cultural change by everyone involved, and that’s going to be up to the Southern Section Council made up of league members to decide. The first reading of the proposal will be later this month.

Commissioner Rob Wigod said his office has finally done what many wanted to happen — be able to use current records to rank teams. That means schools that lose 35 seniors won’t be stuck in a higher division based on the previous year’s record and teams that bring in transfers and suddenly become good won’t be in lower divisions based on the previous season’s performance.


“We’ve done our job,” Wigod said. “Now it’s up to the Council.”

There’s some good news that will be discussed. Wigod reports the playoff revenue in football this past fall was significantly up. In 2018, the Southern Section saw 23,000 fewer tickets sold and a revenue drop of $115,073.90.

“I’m encouraged people came out to watch games,” Wigod said.

The proposal for playoff divisions will receive a first reading at the next Council Meeting of league officials later this month.

The Executive Committee also has to decide whether to recommend the Southern Section vote to approve state championships in baseball and soccer that are proposed to begin in 2021.