After one too many blowouts last season, the CHSAA announced today that it has changed its divisional structure for boys basketball in an attempt to create a better competitive balance.
It is not a straightforward realignment, but as Brooklyn/Queens chairman and CHSAA advisory committee member Paul Gilvary said, a “ranking system” that’s based off the league’s football structure.
At the end of each season the teams will vote on which teams they think are the best and based off those votes the divisions will be set. The top six teams from both Brooklyn/Queens and the Archdiocesan and the top two teams from Staten Island will all be a part of the 14-team “AA” division. The remaining four teams from Brooklyn/Queens, five teams from the Archdiocesan, and two teams from Staten Island will make up the 11-team “A” division.
“Instead of realigning the league we tried to come up with an objective way to evaluate the teams so they can be scheduled against teams of similar ability,” Gilvary said.
The most dramatic change is in the Archdiocesan “AA” division, which went from two teams, after losing Rise to a school closing, to six as Archbishop Stepinac, Mount St. Michael, Cardinal Hayes, and Fordham Prep have all been added to the division to join St. Raymond and All Hallows.
The Brooklyn/Queens “AA” division remains the same so the only other change to “AA” is creating a unique Staten Island "AA" division with St. Peter's, which played in the "AA" tournament last season, and Monsignor Farrell.
The “B” division remains unchanged as the committee decided they like the current balance they’ve struck in the league.
In the past, Gilvary said, the league pretty much left the determination of which division the teams fell into up to the perspective teams. That was a practice that they decided had to be done away with as it is what created the problem in the first place.
Last season, the league created an advisory committee and after meeting twice, they determined they would do something similar to what the football league has done only simplified. Their proposal got the go ahead from the presidents of each diocesan, Ray Nash and Rich Tricario, before it was overwhelmingly approved by each school's athletic directors.
When considering changing the structure, the league considered arranging the teams by geography or by student population, but found that doing it either of those ways would not increase the competitiveness of the league.
In the "AA" division, each team will play teams within their own division twice and will play two teams in the other division. The Staten Island teams will do the same, but they will also play the Archdiocesan teams once each.
In the “A” division, the Brooklyn/Queens teams play each other twice and will cross over to play the Archdiocesan teams once. The Archdiocesan teams will play each other twice, the Brooklyn/Queens teams once, and the Staten Island teams once each.
For the playoffs, the Brooklyn/Queens tournament will be the same while the Archdiocesan tournament will double in size from six to eight teams, as it includes the two Staten Island squads. The intersectional playoffs will be a 14-team format. It will go from 14 teams to 12, to eight and then the semifinals.
Here are the new divisions for next season:
Christ the King
St. Francis Prep
Mount St. Michael
Staten Island “AA”
St. John's Prep
St. Edmund Prep
Staten Island “A”