Postseason awards a dying breed
The postseason has arrived. That should and does take priority, but there’s another issue on the back-burner as it relates to the postseason’s postseason.
No, it’s not about coaching changes, job searches and rumor mongering, though everyone knows that’s an annual holiday (hopefully not as crazy as last year with 10 East Valley schools with new coaches).
It’s about awards. Or lack thereof.
With the new division and sectional alignment, combined with the computerized schedules, the All-Region, All-Conference awards given to kids is a thing of the past.
The process was often political, and, for various reasons and in various ways, skewed. But 99.5 percent of kids got some recognition they otherwise may not have, and coaches want the same for these kids (despite some flaws within each conference or region).
What to do now? Most schools in each section didn’t play each other, or, if they do, it’s a disproportionate amount compared to others within that section. Stats don’t say everything, so it’s hard to know whether a kid from Mesa was better, worse or as good as a kid from Pinnacle, especially when they never played each other and the other schools within Division I, Section III didn’t play them both either.
Division I, Section II fired the first shot by not having an All-Section team. Division III, Section I decided before the season to divide its section into “North” (Williams Field, Poston Butte, Campo Verde, Queen Creek, Higley, Casa Grande, Maricopa) and “South” (Tucson schools, plus Nogales) sub-sections, and give out awards within that sub-section. Other sections will either follow suit or haven’t yet decided what to do.
Nobody wants to eliminate these awards, but if equity and fairness can’t be achieved because of the new alignments, then either creativity, obvious flaws in who gets selected or left out, or abolishment are the only three options.