CSAA to bring back doubleheaders for Friday varsity basketball

REED CITY — Central State Activities Association (CSAA) boys and girls basketball doubleheaders are returning to Reed City and other league schools.

Reed City athletic director Kris Griffin announced that CSAA Friday nights will feature a girls varsity game to start it off, followed by the boys contest.

Tuesday nights, both teams will play, but the girls team will be home and the boys team away, or vice-versa.

This format will eliminate the process the past two seasons of one gender playing Monday and Thursday and the other one on Tuesday and Friday for the entire season. The girls played Tuesday-Friday for the 2012-13 season while the boys had those nights this past season. The other gender would play the Monday-Thursday combination.

Prior to that, the CSAA used Tuesday and Friday doubleheaders for varsity girls and boys.

On Tuesdays, the varsity-JV girls and varsity-JV boys will be together on opposite sites. Thursday night, the JV girls and JV boys will play at one site with the varsity boys-girls on Friday at the opposite location.

“It will always be girls first,” Griffin said.

This format applies to conference, not non-league games.

“That’s a bit of a challenge because some of the (non-league) schools we’re working with are not on the same schedule,” Griffin said. “We’re working through it right now.”

CSAA secretary John Kearney noted that this will be the fourth time next season that format has changed since girls basketball became a winter sport. He said the athletic directors of the CSAA made the decision.

“The AD looked at many different models over the years,” Kearney said. “We felt that this would benefit the girls and boys basketball teams. They could be with their JV teams once a week and on Friday’s play both Varsity games together. The AD feel this will be the best fit of all models that will benefit all programs.”

On non-league games, there are currently no varsity doubleheaders set for Reed City.

“I’m thinking hopefully we’ll get more attendance,” Griffin said of the new format.

There are seven teams in the division meaning one school will have a bye from conference play that particular evening.

The 2014-15 will feature a different CSAA alignment since the conference has gone from one-10 team division to a seven-squad Gold Division, which includes Reed City, and a six-school Silver Division. The Coyotes will play Central Montcalm, Chippewa Hills, Big Rapids, Grant, Newaygo and Tri County in Gold Division games, giving them eight contests for non-league. Previous seasons featured 18 CSAA games and two nonleague battles.

For non-league “we have Cadillac, Pine River, Fremont, and we’re going to play Lakeview and Morley, even though they’re in the Silver Division,” Griffin said. “Pine River boys, we’re excited about. The girls have played Pine River the last couple of years but the boys have not.”

Griffin said the basketball schedule is “a few games shy” of being finished for next season.

There’s a Bronze Division, Griffin noted, that will be for sports that will have a limited number of CSAA schools playing it, such as boys and girls soccer.