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ILLPOLO.COM


Feature Article

 

March 21, 2013

Immediate Reactions to Sectional Assignments

By Aaron Brown

 

The IHSA announced the sectional assignments for this year's playoffs on March 21. The boys and girls sectionals are listed on the site with the links above. Here are some immediate reactions on the decisions:

 

Fenwick/Lyons
The Friars and Lions are back in the same sectional, which means that only one of the the current #1 and #2 teams on the boys' side can qualify for state (the girls are currently ranked #1 and #10, respectively). That was a travesty last year when both the boys' and girls' teams were contending for a state title, but the same mistake was made once again.

TBA Host
The assignments have been made again without an eighth host. How can they be made geographically when no host has been determined? This means that one of the teams in that group has to host or all of the teams will be playing at a neutral site. Last year, Stagg ended up becoming a host at the last minute, while Sandburg's offer to host was rejected. Will the same happen again?

Palatine Leaving Palatine
The Pirates will have to travel to Mundelein instead of the nearby Fremd Sectional, which is located in...Palatine. Geographical? How?

Splitsville
-Andrew girls at TBA Sectional, boys are at LWN

-Bremen girls at TBA Sectional; boys are at LWN
-Evanston girls at UIC; boys remain at GBN
-Maine South girls play at Fenwick; the boys are at GBN
-Prospect girls play at GBN; the boys play at Fremd
-York girls play at Fenwick; the boys get sent to Neuqua

Absentees
A few of the teams on the sectional assignment list have yet to play a recorded game this season. This usually results in forfeits in the opening round at sectionals. That's fine if these teams are making an effort to field a full team and can't do so in May. The problem is that other teams that play a full schedule are being shifted around as a result of this, which is incredibly unfair when the boys' and girls' teams from long-time water polo schools are split up and can't support each other when semifinal and final games are being played at around the same time in two different locations.

 

Niles West

I should also add that the Niles West girls being placed in the GBN Sectional is an interesting decision, since it means that either Evanston or Maine South or both are headed to new locations. This is interesting since, to my knowledge, Niles West does not have a girls team! Keep in mind that these major changes mean that a team like Maine South, ranked #15 in the current poll, had no chance to schedule games with the likes of Fenwick, Lyons, Morton, Oak Park, York, and the other teams at the Fenwick Sectional for the 2013 season. This causes a problem with seeding teams for the postseason. There are a handful of other examples of this happening elsewhere.

 

 

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