As the East Bay Athletic League Fall season starts to wind down, it is time to get excited for the looming North Coast Section playoffs in all sports. The Playbook will take a run through all the Fall sports and give you the dates for postseason action.
The big date for football is Nov. 7, the date of the at-large and seedings meeting. The 10 EBAL teams will be split between Division 1 and 2 based on enrollment/competitive balance.
Division I: Amador, California, Clayton Valley, De La Salle and Monte Vista. Division II: Dougherty Valley, Dublin, Foothill, Granada, Livermore and San Ramon Valley.
The dates of the respective NCS rounds will be Nov. 11 and 12, Nov. 19 and 20, Nov. 26 and 27. The NorCal regionals will be December 3 and 4, with the CIF Bowl games taking place December 10 and 11.
I am counting on the EBAL to get eight or nine teams into the tournament.
With the minimum qualifying standard suspended, a team does need not to have at least as many wins as losses to qualify.
This being the case, all 10 EBAL teams are still in the running for NCS berths. But -- and it’s been a pain for years -- every league champion receives an automatic berth into their respective division.
Each year a more deserving team is left out of the NCS tournament because a league champion from a weaker league gets the automatic berth.
Even if an at-large applicant beats said league champion badly, they lose out on the automatic berth. If the goal is to have the best field possible in the tournament, this is a case where NCS misses badly.
This will cost at least one, if not two, EBAL teams a spot in the tournament.
The EBAL meet is set for Nov. 6 at Newhall Park in Concord, hosted by De La Salle.
The NCS meet will be held at Hayward High, the traditional site for the meet, on Saturday, Nov. 20, with the CIF State meet taking place at Woodward Park in Fresno.
The ladies have seen their post-season begin as the EBAL Tournament took place Monday, Oct. 18 at Callippe Preserve Golf Course in Pleasanton.
As always seems the case, the EBAL teams take a step down in the quality of courses when NCS rolls around. The Division II qualifier will take place Oct. 25 at Blue Rock Springs in Vallejo.
The top 18 finishers advance to the NCS Division I tournament Nov. 1 at Diablo Creek. The NorCal tournament is Nov. 8 at the Berkeley Country Club (formerly Mira Vista), with the CIF State tournament at Poppy Hills on Nov. 16.
The NCS Team Championships will take place Nov. 9 to 13, with the CIF NorCal tournament taking place Nov. 19 to 20.
The EBAL has fared well in the team tournament, winning six of the last seven tournaments contested. Monte Vista won five of those and Dougherty Valley the other. Tamalpais’ win in 2019 put an end to the EBAL run.
The NCS Singles/Doubles tournament takes place Nov. 15 and 16, with the Division I tournament at Heritage High in Brentwood. The Division II tournament will be at Maria Carrillo in Santa Rosa.
With one week left in the EBAL season, NCS action begins with selection Sunday, Oct. 24.
Matches will take place Oct. 26, 27 and 30, as well as Nov. 3 to 6. The NorCal tournament starts Nov. 9 and ends Nov. 16. The CIF State championships will take place Nov. 19 and 20 at Santiago Canyon College in Orange.
Oct. 31 is the selection day, with the tournament running from Nov. 3 to 13.