Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fair Play: It's time for Cesafi to change

NOW on its 13th season, this year's Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. would be just like the first one and I hope it's time for changes to be adopted.

I'm not saying we should get rid of the officials. I'm just saying it's time for some changes, and you can change, of course, without changing officials.

For starters, I think it's time the Cesafi rewards the schools for offering programs in all sports by handing out an overall champion's trophy.  Determining the overall champion is very easy and will only involve one guy with a calculator. Why the Cesafi still hasn't gotten to this is a big question.  Just assign points to the champion of each sport and add the total of points each school has earned and the one with the most points get the trophy.

It's simple as that.

Why do I bat for an overall crown?  It's because some schools pour all their resources in one program and ignore the rest, an overall trophy would be a reward for the school with the most comprehensive program.

Cesafi's centerpiece event, basketball, also deserves a shot in the arm.  It's a given that the championships will be packed, but the elimination round would be as crowded as the House of Congress in a Manny Pacquiao fight, so why not hold some of these games in the homecourt of the other schools and not just in the University of Cebu's homecourt?  What would you prefer, a game where there are more sportswriters than audience or one where there are actually students in the stands.

And how about, for a change, they separate the high school and college finals and not hold them in one day?  Even better, use a home and away format, with the team having the better record hosting Game 1. I think that would do wonders for the league.

As for football, Cesafi really needs to change the format.  Only five schools have football team and they play a single round robin with the top four going to the semis.  Five teams and a semifinal round, what does that tell you?  A school puts up a team and it only gets, at most six games, in a season?  It’s not worth it, isn’t it?

Make it a double round robin and eliminate the semifinal round and let the top two teams fight for the title.  That would make all games meaningful.  Under the current format, you can lose your first three games, win the last one and still get a better than even chance to win the title.

They always say they’ll be pressed for time, but there’s also a very simple solution to this.  Start the darn games early and end that practice of giving Cesafi basketball a one-month head start.

A LONG WAY TO GO FOR A TV MATCH.  On June 8, when the Philippines faces Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek in a group of friends is going to have a unique experience in Cebu.  A few months back, Cebu was supposed to host a friendly on this day but for one reason or another, it never pushed through.  Of course that didn’t stop them from booking their tickets to Cebu early for the “friendly.”

We’ll probably just join them in watching this TV game they traveled so far for.  Their case reminds of me of another one during the second leg of the Philippines vs Kuwait World Cup 2014 qualifiers at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

A group of Cebuanos got their plane tickets and a hotel but forgot to book their tickets. Thinking they can still get it on match day, they went to the stadium….then spent the rest of the night watching the Philippines go down fighting, in the comforts of their hotel room.

Ah, the things footie fans do...

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