WHAT TIME DOES MY CHILD COMPETE? / MY CHILD NEEDS TO LEAVE -- CAN WE GO NOW?
If you have an important need concerning scheduling issues, please discuss this with the Head Coach IN ADVANCE of the meet. Weekday dual meets typically begin at 2:45 pm, and follow a standard order of events (4x100m relay, 1600m, 110h/100h, 400m, 100m, 800m, 300h, 200m, 3200m, 4x400m relay), but scheduling for field events (high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put, and discus) can vary greatly and even the time it takes to complete the running events can vary depending upon the number of heats, the efficiency of meet administration, and other factors. Although weekday dual meets typically end by 6:00 p.m., the coaching staff expects all athletes to attend the entire meet at weekday dual meets no matter how long they last. If your child is done competing at a weekday dual meet he or she should be cheering on teammates and assisting with the administration of the meet. Dual meets are TEAM competitions. No football or basketball player would dream of walking out of a game with a few minutes left in overtime, so please expect track coaches to be equally mystified and upset when parents and athletes request to leave dual meets early. We expect dual meets to be given priority -- please do not schedule tutoring appointments, music lessons, non-emergency medical appointments, or anything else for afternoons / evenings when there are dual meets. Meet schedules for weekend meets vary significantly, as well. There is more flexibility regarding coming and going at weekend invitationals, as these competitions tend to be more individualized. Athletes needing to come late or leave early regarding a weekend invitational should discuss their situations with the coaching staff on a case by case basis.
WHAT DOES MY CHILD NEED FOR THE MEET?
Please use common sense given the circumstances for any given meet, but please include: complete uniform and sweats, training and racing shoes, a decent digital watch with a stopwatch function, healthy snacks and drinks, sunscreen, a towel to rest on between events, an umbrella for shade or protection from rain, and a reasonable amount of money to buy food/drinks, equipment, or meet T-shirts.
CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW THE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE DETERMINED?
For team purposes, PVHS is in the Bay League. Other schools currently in the Bay League include Peninsula, Mira Costa, Leuzinger, Redondo, and West Torrance. Each school competes in scored dual meets against each other team in the league. At dual meets, there are 136 points up for grabs, two relays worth five points each, and fourteen individual running and field events scored five points for first place, three points for second place, and one point for third place. The team with the most points at the end of the meet wins. Ties are possible and in fact occur with some frequency. At the end of the season the team with the best record in league dual meet competition is Bay League Champion. PVHS also competes from time to time in dual meets against non-Bay League schools but these do not affect Bay League team placement.
For individual purposes, after the regular dual meet season is concluded there is the "Bay League Championships" meet over two days for prelims and finals. This meet does not affect team placement but determines who are the individual Bay League Champions in the various events and also serves as the first round of advancing to individual California Interscholastic Federation ("CIF") competition. The league champion automatically advances. The second and third place finishers advance if they also meet a qualifying mark set by the CIF, which must be obtained during the league championship meet. Finishers placing fourth and below may also advance if at the league championship meet they also meet a more difficult qualifying mark. The qualifying marks are announced at the beginning of each year by the CIF and are based on previous years' performances by qualifying athletes.
For CIF competition purposes, California is divided into ten separate Sections. PVHS competes in the Southern Section, which is the largest Section and encompasses most of Southern California but not the City of Los Angeles, which is its own Section. The Southern Section by itself rivals many states in the United States in terms of the number of athletes and quality of the competition.
Within the Southern Section, there are four Divisions based on school population: Div. I (over 2600 students), Div. II (2150-2599 students), Div. III (1100-2149 students), and Div. IV (1099 students and below). PVHS is in "Division III" based on its 2012 population of 1689 students. The other Bay League Schools are in Divisions I or II. There are roughly 100 schools in each Division.
PVHS athletes who advance out of Bay League as individuals (or as part of a qualifying relay team) first compete in the Southern Section Division III Preliminary Meet in an effort to advance to Southern Section Divsion III Finals the following week. Generally, the top nine in the divisional prelims advance to finals. Qualifying for Division III Finals means that you are among the top nine male or female athletes in that event among all the roughly 175,000 students in Southern Section Division III schools.
The Southern Section Divisional Finals are run together as one meet, and simultaneously serve as a qualifying meet for the Southern Section Championships (also known as "Masters"). Generally the top nine athletes in each event move on to Masters. Qualifying for Masters means you are among the top nine male or female athletes in that event among the roughly 800,000 students in the Southern Section.
The Masters meet also serves as a qualifying meet for the California State Championships, where the best athletes from all Sections across California compete head to head regardless of Division or school size. Generally the top five in each event at the Southern Section Masters meet advance to the State Championships and there are also qualifications through meeting certain performance standards at the Masters meet. The State Championship meet is a two day meet for prelims and finals.
All of the CIF post-season meets are also scored for team placement purposes, with ten points awarded to an individual event winner's team and descending numbers of points for second place, third place, etc. The California State Championship Meet is the end of the road in terms of formal school-sponsored championships, but in recent years there have developed unofficial "national championships" which are sponsored by major corporations and take place in late June. There are also the USATF Regional and National Youth Championships that take place in July.