As you may or may not realize, although boys’ and girls’ lacrosse are California Interscholastic Federation sports, the high school lacrosse playoffs are not conducted by the CIF Southern Section. Instead the playoffs are conducted by the Orange County and Greater Los Angeles Chapters of US Lacrosse. Without the support of these two chapters, there would not be any lacrosse playoffs. The reason for this is that article 3200.3 of the CIF Southern Section 2014-2015 constitution and bylaws states, “No playoffs will be conducted by the Southern Section Office when less than 20% of the membership field teams in that sport.”
The CIF SS, with 579 member schools, is the largest of all CIF sections in geography and number of member schools. It covers an expansive geographical area that includes Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Mono and Inyo counties. Thus, 116 lacrosse teams are required for “CIF playoffs.”
With the addition of Edison High School last year and three new programs from Murietta this year (Vista Murietta, Murietta Mesa, and Murietta Valley) there are now 86 boys’ lacrosse teams. The boys are 20 teams away from CIF playoffs. There are 67 girls’ lacrosse team in the CIF SS, leaving the women with a little more ground to cover.
The San Diego section by comparison covers only San Diego County and has only about 120 schools. So, although there are more high schools playing lacrosse in the CIF SS than in the San Diego Section (51 teams), San Diego does have CIF playoffs
For now, lacrosse teams within the CIF SS are aligned in a North Division and a South Division. The Orange County Chapter of US Lacrosse oversees the South Division (Orange and Riverside Counties). The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of US Lacrosse oversees the North Division (L.A., Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties). Each division holds a 16-team postseason playoff, and the North and South Division champs play one another for the Southern Section Championship.