State brackets are south heavy, but there’s a reason

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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The Southern California bracket for the CIF Division I boys playoffs has a full 16 teams, but there are only 11 teams in the Northern California bracket.

In fact, the south has more teams in all boys and girls brackets, all the way down through Division V.

While it looks unbalanced, there is a reason – actually, a formula, for how the brackets are filled.

CIF director of communications Quwan Spears explained Monday that each section in the state gets a predetermined amount of entries into the tournament.

There are six sections in the north and four in the south. A section with between one and 24 schools will receive two entries. A section with 25 to 70 schools – like the Sac-Joaquin Section – gets four entries, and 71 or more schools lands a section eight entries. The Oakland section has two automatic entries in Division I, and the San Francisco section has two automatic berths, to be placed in divisions based on enrollment. The Southern Section has the most schools and receives eight entries.

“So usually, they fill out more divisions that way than they do in the north,” Spears said. “Some brackets are different than others.”