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Intro to the De Anza: What’s New and What’s Different

posted Dec 3, 2015, 12:19 PM by Bill Walstrom   [ updated Dec 11, 2015, 10:34 AM ]
In 2016, as the 2015 champions of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League’s El Camino Division, Cupertino will be promoted to the SCVAL De Anza Division. 

The De Anza is larger in both number of teams and in geographic area. In 2016, the division will consist of eight teams: Cupertino, Homestead, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Saratoga and Wilcox. 

In the De Anza, as in the El Camino, teams are limited to 2 scrimmages and 27 regular season games. But then it gets more complicated:: Varsity teams in the De Anza play 4 to 6 playoff games over two week period after the end of the regular season. These games DO NOT count toward the regular season 27 game limit. During the first week of playoffs, Frosh/Soph teams play non-playoff games against the Frosh/Soph teams of their varsity team’s playoff opponents, and these games DO count against the 27 game limit. So while the Frosh/Soph maximum remains at 27, the Varsity could play up to 33 games in a season. 

League play in the De Anza consists of 14 games, one home, and one away, against each of the other 7 schools. 

The league champion is determined by the outcome of both league play and the playoffs. The top finisher in league play is named the league champion. Two teams can tie and share that honor as co-champions The winner of the playoffs is also named league champion, and so the season can end with a 2 or 3 way shared championship, or with a single champion in the event a team finishes first in both league play and the playoffs. 

In the playoffs, the top four teams compete for the league championship, while the fifth through eighth finishers compete to determine which team will be relegated to the El Camino. If you are wondering why the lowest finishing team isn’t simply sent down, be assured you’re not the first to ask that question. Because relegation is determined by playoff results, it’s actually possible a team could both qualify for CCS and get sent down in the same season. 

The top four teams in the De Anza receive automatic berths to CCS, while the remaining four teams are eligible for at-large berths. CCS seeding is based entirely upon points, with the season finish not being taken into consideration. 

The De Anza is an A league. Wins against A league teams count for 3 CCS points, while losses count for 1, as compared to 2.5 and .5 respectively in the El Camino. Those extra points have led to situations where a team qualifies for CCS on the basis of points, but is ineligible based on their win/loss record. 

Complete details can be found on the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League’s website at: www.scval.com