After a beginning of the season which saw dozens of boys and girls basketball games postponed due to COVID, the Principals and Athletic Directors of the East Bay Athletic League have voted to change the format of the season.
The primary rationale for the change is to avoid having weeks where teams were forced to play 4 or even 5 league contests to make up their 13-game schedule. From the standpoint of competitive balance, it was also felt that it would be difficult and/or potentially unfair to determine Division champions to play in the title game if teams played an uneven amount of games against opponents with varying degrees of strength. In a normal season, Dublin plays the 4 opponents within the Valley Division twice (Foothill, Amador Valley, Livermore, and Granada) and the opponents in the Mountain Division (California, Dougherty Valley, San Ramon Valley, Monte Vista, De La Salle/Carondelet) once. Winners from each Division play for the league championship in a 1-game playoff.
For the 2021-2022 season only, the following changes were made:
1.) All EBAL games that have been played prior to January 18th will count towards the final league standings;
2.) For the remainder of the 2021-2022 year only, the EBAL will shift to a single round format, where each team will play each other just once for a total of 9 league contests;
3.) All league contests must be completed by Sunday, February 6th. At that time the tournament will be seeded by the EBAL Commissioner and Boys and Girls Basketball Sport Coordinators based upon league standings following the conclusion of the 9-game regular season. All traditional tie-breakers used by the EBAL such as head-to-head results and the preseason draw will help determine the seeding in the event of ties in the standings.
4.) As a matter of principle, the currently adopted EBAL schedule will remain intact for purposes of ensuring that every school plays each other at least once;
5.) On dates where schools who played prior to January 18th are scheduled to play each other again, the second date on the schedule will become a non-league contest. However, in regards to the 2nd EBAL game originally scheduled, priority will be given to using those dates to ensure that every school plays each other at least once;
6.) An EBAL Tournament will be scheduled for the week of February 7-12 where every team will be guaranteed at least 2 games for the final week of the season. The higher seed will host through the Championship, with a 50-50 net revenue split between the host school and EBAL
7.) On Monday, February 7th, the “Play-In” games of the tournament takes place, where the 7th seed will play the 10th seed and the 8th seed will play the 9th seed. The losers will play one final game on Thursday, February 10th, while the winners feed into the Quarterfinals of the main bracket
8.) The Quarter Finals take place on Tuesday, February 8th with a traditional 8-team bracket where the top half of the bracket has the #1 seed playing the #8 seed and the #4 seed playing the #5 seed. Winners advance to face each other on Thursday, February 10th and the losers of the Quarter Finals feed into a consolation bracket and face each other on 2/10. On the bottom half of the bracket, the #2 seed plays the #7 seed and the #3 seed plays the #6 seed. Winners square off on Thursday, February 10th in the Semi-finals and the losers feed into the Consolation bracket.
9.) The Semi-finals of both the Winners Bracket and Consolation Bracket takes place on Thursday, February 10th. Winners and losers in each bracket will advance in a traditional manner and the final games (including the EBAL Championship) will be conducted on the previously scheduled date of Saturday, February 12th at the home site of the highest remaining seed.
Brackets for the tournament will be posted after the conclusion of league play on Sunday, February 6th on the East Bay Athletic League website (www.theebal.com