The hockey ADs met at BOCES today and made it official — hockey will be using the new conferences, without any changes. Here they are again:
Conference I (8 teams): Yorktown, Lakeland/Panas, Carmel, Mahopac, Kennedy/Putnam Valley, Pawling/Dover, Brewster, Ossining
Conference II (7 teams): White Plains, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Sleepy Hollow/Irvington, Pelham, E/T/B
Conference III (8 teams): Greeley, Fox Lane, John Jay, Somers/North Salem, Byram Hills, Rye Town/Harrison, Rye, Mount Pleasant
Conference IV (6 teams): Clarkstown North, Clarkstown South, Nyack/Tappan Zee, North Rockland, Pearl River, Suffern
Somers and North Salem are actually in different conferences, but the team was put with Somers since it had more representation on the team.
Before today’s meeting, the coaches voted 100 percent against the new alignment. The ADs met today to decide whether to ask the athletic counsel — which actually has the power to change things — to leave hockey alone. But the ADs voted “a lot to a little,” in the words of chairman John Orlando, not to pass it along.
“They said all the arguments were good and academically sound — competition, safety, travel,” Orlando said. “They said, ‘We can pass it but it’s not going to pass (the athletic counsel). We’ve been told that for a fact.’ They felt it was like beating a dead horse.”
Apparently the counsel, which consists of superintendents and principals, was worried it would open up a Pandora’s box, since every other sport would then ask for exemptions.
Here’s what’s next: The conferences will meet on May 4 to determine whether teams in each league will play each other once or twice (round-robin). I would be shocked if the ADs vote to only play once, since having only five league games on a 20-game schedule would defeat the supposed purpose of realigning in the first place.
During the meeting they will also determine crossover scheduling. If it’s anything like girls lacrosse (which I’m currently covering), the teams in each league will be seeded, with the top teams from each league playing each other (for example, Suffern-Mamaroneck-Mahopac-Rye) and on down the line.
Next, a seeding committee will determine how postseason seeding will work for all sports next year. There will not be a hockey-only system. Again, in girls lacrosse seeding is only done by league record and assigned crossovers (yes, a team in an easier league could have a better record and will be seeded above a better team from a harder league).
Some more notes — as of now, the 29 Section 1 teams will all stay the same for next year. No new programs or mergers. Also, the Division I sectional champion will host Section 6 (Buffalo area), while the Division II champion will host Section 2 (Albany area).
Also, the Division I and Division II alignment will stay the same as last year. Same 16 teams in Division I and 13 teams in Division II. There is a state meeting later this week, and there’s a proposal to have uniformity across the state — any programs over 1,000 in Division I, under 1,000 in Division II. But even if this is passed, it won’t take affect until the 2010-11 season. The numbers will change before then, but programs that could be affected include Somers/North Salem (1,049), Yorktown (1,029), Greeley (1,021) and Ossining (1,001), who would all move from DII to DI.