The B.C. High School Boys Basketball Association (BCHSBBA) have released their tiered list for which schools are designated AAAA, AAA, AA and A for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons based on the number of enrolled male students at each high school and Charles Hays, who currently play in the AAA tier, have dropped to AA due to being 10 male students short of qualifying for the tougher and more competitive conference.
The school will have 158 enrolled males next year, while the cutoff for next year’s AAA tier is 168.
However, the decision to place the senior boys’ in the AA tier is yet to be finalized because the team can still submit an application to move up into the next tier, due by Feb. 19.
The application, dubbed the “Request to Play-up Form”, enables the applicant school to play in a tier above their designation and must be signed by the coach, athletic director and principal. Senior boys coach Mel Bishop plans to continue playing in AAA, should the school’s request be approved.
“I think we’ll probably stay triple. I would have to talk to the other coaches here, but that’s what I’m leaning towards,” said the long-time coach.
But consistently playing in a high tier for the next two years could have its drawbacks as Bishop outlined last week.
“The problem is, you could lose a kid, right? I mean in the offseason or springtime, you’re looking pretty good and then some kid moves out of town or a kid gets injured … in a small school like we have, one key guy is a huge difference [when you lose him]. It’s not like we’re a big school that has all this depth,” he said.
“It’s a numbers thing.”
Larger Lower Mainland schools have also qualified for AAA like Pitt Meadows, who are currently playing quad-A, the highest level of B.C. high school basketball. If they don’t move back into quad-A, the team would be playing Charles Hays in the playoffs should both teams reach provincials and should the Rainmakers have their AAA application approved.
Bishop also said this is the first time in recent memory he’s had to submit such an application, but with Charles Hays’ historic success in basketball relative to its size, the coach is used to playing in higher tiers with a student population disadvantage.
“We’ve always been at the low end of all these [tiers] with our numbers. Even when we were AA we were just double, we were never big double or big triple,” he said.
The second deadline for play-up submissions is Feb. 27.