Soccer schedules are screwy - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Ahwatukee Sports

Soccer schedules are screwy

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Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:22 am

The new scheduling system for soccer has some bugs to work out.

Twelve of the matches count for power rankings to decide who makes it into postseason.

The top three teams from each the three sections qualify for the 16-team field, leaving seven sports open to at-large bids.

Within that 12-match schedule they play multiple teams twice and some only once.

And most of them are not even opponent's sectional.

Just makes no sense to me.

Take Desert Vista's boys team for example.

The Thunder play Mountain Pointe, Mesa, Corona del Sol, Dobson and Chandler twice for 10 of their matches. They also play Nortre Dame and Casa Grande.

Of those opponents only the Pride and Mesa are from Division I, Section III, the section in which Desert Vista resides.

In other words, the Thunder play a total of four matches against teams they are fighting for an automatic bid into the postseason. There are 17 teams in Division I, Section III and the Thunder don't face 14 of them in the regular season.

"The AIA has its head in the sand sometimes when it comes to these things," Desert Vista coach Mike Rabasca said. "It all sounds good in the board room, but I don't think they pay attention to ancillary sports as they probably should.

"I don't know that AIA should be in the business of promoting soccer but they sure don't help at all."

The scheduling is done by a computer and it is selects opponent's based on proximity.

Yet, Westwood, Red Mountain and Mesa Mountain View, all teams within the Thunder's section, are not scheduled.

Yes Corona, Dobson and Chandler are closer but not by that much. Put a variable in the computer program that puts a preference on sectional opponents and travel.

The other thing that is kind of silly is that fact that the Thunder play three of their matches this week meaning one-quarter of the year is already over.

Every sport has complaints about the AIA's scheduling process, but soccer might be the most misguided attempt up to this point.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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