After discussions with the CIF-San Diego Section office and Imperial Valley League representatives, the Imperial-Brawley Union high football game will go down as a tie.
But, it’s still complicated.
On Oct. 14, the Tigers and Wildcats finished 31-31 after regulation time. They played overtime, where the Tigers scored a touchdown to win, 38-31.
As of that moment, the Tigers put down a win and the Wildcats a loss on their official records.
What they didn’t know was CIF-SDS has a rule regarding ties during league games.
That rule, however, has some gray areas.
The rule states in case for the need of overtime, the game will use NCAA rules, but isn’t more specific.
“There’s an interpretation there how you wanna read it,” Southeastern Conference CIF representative Ray Alvarado said. “We’ve never had that, we’ve never had to look into that, the Green Book, on that issue.”
The Green Book contains the official rules and bylaws from CIF.
Alvarado said some see it as that rule determining the winner and loser while others say it only refers to rules on playing the overtime period.
That’s where the CIF office stepped in and made a ruling Wednesday.
CIF-SDS Commissioner Jerry Schniepp ruled officially the game goes down as a tie for both teams. If that were the case, then if both teams win this week, both would finish 4-0-1 in league for a shared title with Imperial getting the No. 1 designation from the league.
“Our practice is that when it’s not a CIF playoffs game, the tiebreaker is for league designation purposes,” Schniepp said. “It’s not to call one a winner or loser. The tiebreaker is only to designate who is ranked higher in the league if they end up tie.”
Officials from Brawley or Imperial declined to comment. The league is following CIF’s decision.
“We’re following the commissioner’s interpretation of the rules, so if Brawley and Imperial win out, their record will be 4-0-1,” Alvarado said. “We’re following the interpretation of the commissioner.”
That would mean Imperial and Brawley would share the league title.
However, he also said Imperial plans to submit its league record as 5-0, if the Tigers beat Palo Verde Valley tonight, at the CIF seeding meeting Saturday.
“That’s the consensus,” Alvarado said, noting that no vote was officially made. “They (Imperial) would be 4-0 and they will probably submit their record if they win (today) as 5-0 and Brawley will do what they feel is correct.”
As far as the rule in question, CIF agreed it needs to be addressed.
“That’s not as clear as it should be,” Schniepp said. “That was where the questions rose from. It’s something we need to address. We could adopt a policy to play-off all ties. It is what it is now and we’ll continue to look at it.”