CIF Playoffs Shake Up Lassen High Grizzly Girls Basketball

The CIF Championship playoffs have caused a stir for Lassen High Grizzly Girls Basketball as they were moved to an upper division after winning their section, resulting in an 11th seed in an upper division. While some view this as unfair and a denial of their well-deserved seed, the CIF claims it is to promote fairness.

As a result, the team must travel over 200 miles, miss three days of school, and force players’ families to travel to attend the game, as their guaranteed home playoff game was taken away from them.

The team is now competing in Division 3 alongside much larger schools such as Chico High, Foothill High, and Redondo Union High, which have thousands of students compared to Lassen’s roughly 800.

Commissioner for the Northern Section, Scott Johnson, says this move can instead be seen as a compliment, as the state places teams where they can be competitive based on its criteria. Johnson adds the Northern Section is the only section that ranks teams by enrollment numbers; thus, after section championships, the Northern Section must follow the rest of the state’s ranking system based on the standard competitive equity model. Johnson notes that Lassen’s team was placed in a similar situation two years ago but was moved down in divisions. This year is no different; some Northern Section teams moved up, while others moved down.

While officials at Lassen High School are rallying to raise concerns with the CIF, some do not believe in the so-called athletic equity system. The school will address this topic with the High School Coalition at a future board meeting.

The Lassen High Girl’s Basketball team will play their regional playoff game in McKinleyville this evening.