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Paly home football games?

Original post made by Paly football fan on Sep 25, 2006

Does anyone know why there only seem to be four home Paly football games this year, and about eight away games? I thought the schedules always had an equal number of home and away games. It seem too bad that the new lights aren't being put to more use.

Comments (12)

Posted by Former Paly fan, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 25, 2006 at 5:29 pm

It looks like terrible planning to me. Sounds like it's tough on the kids too. Whoever put this schedule together should be reprimanded.


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on Sep 25, 2006 at 8:22 pm

Um, Former Fan -

Do you have any information about the planning process? Do you think that the coach or school staff were thinking, "Hmmm, how can we alienate people and lose more football games?" I guess you don't really know much about how it came about, but you've got that "reprimand" ready... Or if you do know, please enlighten us.


Posted by Former Fan, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 26, 2006 at 5:07 pm

Yes, I know a lot about the process. I was very involved in several high school sports programs for most of a decade. It's a balancing act and requires a great deal of communication. Coaches have scheduling options that were apparently not considered when putting together this fall's football calendar.


Posted by Mark Too, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 26, 2006 at 8:16 pm

Paly plays ten games, here is a link to their schedule;



Web Link


Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on Sep 27, 2006 at 10:01 pm

I should have been clearer in my original post - I meant to ask, "do you have information about the planning process for Paly football this year?" I wasn't asking about your overall experience. In your response, you say there are options that "were apparently not considered." I'll take that "apparently" to mean that you don't know for sure what happened or why. Wouldn't you think that a school with an experienced athletic administration and with the kind of success they've had recently would know about those options? I'm not claiming to have the answers myself, but it seems to me that people with a proven track record must have had some tricky circumstances arise that forced them into scheduling a season in a way that seems out of the ordinary and disadvantageous.


Posted by Former Fan, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 28, 2006 at 8:13 am

No, I don't have specifics about the 2006 schedule. I do know Mr. Hansen though, and doubt it occurred to him that he'd agreed to a mess.

With the sports I was involved in scheduling, league games are usually fairly balanced. League schedules are put together by the SCVAL commissioners. Paly football plays in the SCVAL De Anza division, which has 8 teams, so Paly plays 7 league games. The SCVAL does a reasonably good job of balancing home and away, which you can see if you look at Paly's football schedule -- they have four home league games and three away games.

Where it gets tricky for a coach is scheduling pre-season games because that involves directly communicating with other coaches. The main consideration is, "Does this other school's open dates match up with mine?" A secondary consideration is home vs. away.

My experience in designing pre-season schedules is that I want a good balance of home and away games. So I might be on the phone with a coach, asking whether their team has an open date that fits with one of mine. There are some coaches who like to have all their pre-season games at their house, and there are some who believe their athletes need the experience of playing on a hostile field.

Paly has been playing Burlingame the last few seasons, and they've switched back and forth from year to year. I don't recall Paly's experience with Carlmont and Oak Grove. These are not schools that Paly plays every year though.

One of those really should have been played at Paly though. The field looks fine right now, so it's not Paly's facilities that are the issue. From here, and given my knowledge of planning pre-season games, it just looks like a thoughtless mess, which fits into my experience with Mr. Hansen.


Posted by steve, a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2006 at 7:35 pm

First of all Paly is in a seven team league. Gunn is a non-league contest. Paly played Burlingame and Carlmont at home last year so those will either be renewed or new schools scheduled. The schedules reset every two years so it is not guaranteed that the games will alternate home and away each year. Yes the schedule is tough, but let's not use this to vent some personal grudge against the AD.


Posted by chris, a resident of University South
on Sep 29, 2006 at 1:43 am

maybe the AD should issue an explanation so that people do not have to speculate


Posted by Former Fan, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 29, 2006 at 12:50 pm

The website indicated that Gunn is a league game, which I found confusing because most other SCVAL leagues have 7 teams in each division (upper: De Anza, lower: El Camino). I relied on the website and didn't go into "fact checking" mode. I know some other sports have tried to have 8 teams in DA and 6 in EC but wasn't sure whether football was one of those.

Don't negate my entire message because you disagree with my assessment of Mr. Hansen. I know I'm not the only person aware of his tendency to ignore details like this. I've known him a long time and strongly believe that the head football coach should not be the AD -- he is too focused on football, to the detriment of other sports at Paly, which are usually left to fend for themselves.

Yes, Chris, it would be just swell if Hansen would comment. I for one would be pleasantly surprised.


Posted by In the Know, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2006 at 2:43 pm

Regarding Former Fan's remark about how many league games Paly plays:

Paly plays only six league games, not seven. There are seven teams in the league, not eight. They are Paly, Los Gatos, Wilcox, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Milpitas and Homestead. Gunn is in the El Camino Division, thus a nonleague game between league games (SClara and Milpitas). Not counting a scrimmage at Woodside, Paly plays four home games and six road games......not that big of deal, really. Last year, Paly played six at home and four on the road.
This year's schedule actually works in Paly's favor. Having beaten Los Gatos already in its first league game, Paly now hosts Wilcox. The competition gets weaker down the line, so Paly doesn't have to wait until the final regular-season game to be playing for a title. It should be wrapped up either after the Wilcox game or Mountain View game (on Nov. 13).


Posted by Paly fan, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 4, 2006 at 7:54 am

Thank you for clearing up the schedule. I was originally struck by how long into the season we had to wait to play our first home game, but I guess it's just one of the odd outcomes of the scheduling process. Hopefully next year we can have more home than away games, or at least not such a big differential as this year.


Posted by Alan L., a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Check out this great story about club sports versus high school sports

Web Link


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