CIF-SS Proposes New California High School State Championship Meet

According to the agenda for the CIF Southern Section Council meeting held on Thursday evening in Long Beach, California, the California Interscholastic Federation is considering presenting a single state swimming & diving championship in the future.

That’s as compared to now, where the state is divided into 10 sections, each of which has its own championship, which is the end-of-the-line in the country’s deepest and richest state for swimming talent. Beginning in May of 2015, however, that could change.

In April, the CIF Southern Section voted “Support” by a tally of 49-15 to allow one mega-championship that without a doubt would be the biggest and baddest high school meet in the country.

According to Dan Albano of, the proposal sees the Southern Section receiving five entries per event, which is the most among the state’s sections.

The Southern Section, which is currently divided into 4 divisions based on enrollment, has been the spark-plug to these changes. The host would be selected in a bidding process, and the State Federated Council will vote to finalize the measure at their meeting in February.

The CIF SS has long pushed toward creating a single, bigger meet. Until 2012, they held a “Masters” meet combining all four of their divisions. That, though, was largely an unpopular meet among club coaches, as it pushed the California High School season even later into the long course season, when California already has one of the latest High School championships in the country.

Though this new meet would create a spectacular spectacle, criticisms are that with the level of depth in California, there would be potential Division 1-caliber swimmers that wouldn’t even earn an invite to the championship, which could discourage them from joining. This could hurt the positive growth that high school swimming and California has seen recently, including a 2.8% uptick in boys’ swimming from 2012-2013. That’s the biggest growth that any California boys sport saw other than softball, field hockey, and water polo (noting that the former two are small numbers – softball grew from 107 to 226 participants, and field hockey from 67 to 195).

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The concept of a huge “mega-meet” is intriguing. Will allow the country to see the top-end speed and depth of California swimming.


Would this be replacing the CIF meets, or would the sectioned CIF meets still stand as the selection meet for the state championships? Because in order to qualify for CIF (at least in Div 1) most swimmers have to taper for their smaller league championships. If this went through swimmers would potentially have to taper for three meets in a row.

ole 99

For those of us not in CA, how does qualification for the sectional championships work now… time standards? (seasonal or at a league championship?), place at league championship? etc? I agree asking kids to hold a taper for 3 weeks is too much


right now its the top 36 swimmers that make it for each respective division. there is A cut and B cut standards similar to NCAAs. the top talent is spread out among 4 divisions and this is just southern california. with all the talent in central and northern california as well this would hands down be the fastest high school meet in the country if they could get this to happen.


For CCS (Central Coast Section – Nor-CA), to qualify for the meet, there are qualifying times. 2014’s times can be found here:,%20new.html & click on the link “2014 Swimming & Diving Bylaws.” The times are based on the (3) three year average of the 40th place time at the meet for individual events, and the 32nd time for relays. Here are the results from 2013’s meet:,%20new.html CCS encompasses the territory north to San Francisco all the way south to Carmel. As mapped by Google Maps, is a territory of 122 miles, through a densely populated area with many schools. Most of the section meets in CA are larger then the state meets in other states. Some issues with… Read more »

I would disagree in that most of your D1swimmers who would be fast enough to qualify for a state meet do not taper for their league finals. They save it for CIF, as most get their cuts before league.

ole 99

How would selection be run? Each section gets a certain number of spots per event, with unequal weighting of spots amongst the sections? Not being from CA or knowing anything about how the sections are set up, that seems rather unfair. It’s just one person’s opinion here, but I’d rather see all the sections have the same guarantee of a few spots (say 3) with a time standard or cumulative sectional time ranking allowing for additional swimmers to qualify. I also wouldn’t allow the use of presectional times for qualification. You have to perform the time at a sectional meet.


There are only 3 large sections with CIF-SS being the largest with 330 high schools. There are a couple sections that are very small, one sectrion is just inner city LA with heavily minority, socio-economic disadvantaged communities. The times in that secton have never been competitive relative to the premier sections, Like CIF-SS


City of Los Angeles has its own Section because it has over 700,000 students. It has over 50 high schools with swim teams. City of LA stretches from Malibu to San Pedro. There are about 7 leagues. Each league has its own championship. The top 24 times from the championships advance to the City semi-finals. From the semi-finals, the top 12 advance to the finals. These athletes constantly have to hear about how lame their division is compared to the other sections. If these athletes do well in their division, there are always those who want to remind them that they wouldn’t do well in another division. In 2009, Andi Murez swam for Venice High School and at the CIF… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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