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State Finals May Get Permanent Sites : Southern Section Approves Proposal for Prep Championships

January 23, 1987|TOM HAMILTON | Times Staff Writer

Southern Section general council members voted unanimously Thursday to support a state proposal to schedule the State basketball, volleyball, wrestling and track and field championships at permanent sites.

The council members, at their quarterly meeting at Norwalk, also tabled a proposal for a State cross-country championship.

Traditionally, championship games have been rotated and hosted by one of the state's 10 sections, but the CIF proposed playing host to the title games in the 1987-88 season. The measure will go into effect if passed, as expected, at the State Federated Council meeting Jan. 30-31 at Palm Springs.

If passed, the basketball championship will remain at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Arena. The volleyball championship will be played in Orange County at a site to be determined. The track and field championships will be at Cerritos College, and the wrestling championships will be in the Fresno area.

"The basketball championship in Oakland poses some logistic problems (for the Southern Section), but the people in the Bay Area have shown that they support the event and deserve to keep it," said Stan Thomas, Southern Section commissioner.

A State cross-country meet, proposed by the Central Section of the Fresno area, could be added next season, but Southern Section members agreed not to support it because they want more time to review the proposal.

The meet is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 28 at Fresno's Woodward Park. The meet has been endorsed by the Southern Section's cross-country advisory committee. Southern Section schools would be represented by five boys and girls from each of the three divisional races.

The general council members also will vote in March on a measure that would revise the State basketball and volleyball championship classification systems. Currently, boys' and girls' teams compete in large, medium and small classifications. The proposal would increase the competition to five divisions.

"The addition of two divisions would certainly accommodate our section," said Dean Crowley, Southern Section administrator. "The way the State tournament is set up now for volleyball and basketball, our 5-A and 4-A champions are lumped into Division I. They'll each have their own division now."

Council members, who represent each of the 63 leagues in the Southern Section, also reviewed a state program of corporate sponsorship introduced by State Commissioner Tom Byrnes. Don Baird, a former Olympic pole vaulter from Australia, would serve as a consultant and secure the sponsors.

The Southern Section currently has a corporate sponsorship program that contributes $250,000 annually, which allows the section to keep its operating costs at 23 cents per student to member schools. Thomas said most of the state's other nine sections do not have a corporate program.

Council members also voted unanimously to change the date that the first baseball or softball scrimmage can be scheduled this season. Originally, the first allowable date for a scrimmage was March 3. The date was changed to Feb. 28.

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