Aylward: Post-season awards: Tide is high for jazzing up a tired process

"There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;"

Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

The tide is indeed high for the CIS and its four conferences to look at how conference all-star, all-Canadian and rookie-of-the-year awards are presented in major team sports.

A revamped selection method would be a great way to develop more active interest in CIS major sports such as basketball, football and hockey.

Presently, the coaches nominate their selections for the all-star and all-rookie teams at the conference level. The top vote-getters move forward to the national level for CIS all-Canadian and all-rookie, where they are voted on again by all the coaches in CIS. There are some variations but this is generally the format for the major sports.

My suggestion is very simple. For both the CIS all-Canadian and the conference all-star level; the coaches nominate their selections and then break up the voting so the weight is 1/3 coaches, 1/3 fans, and 1/3 media. At the conference level; get a sponsor and promote on the conference and team websites the new all-star/all-rookie voting system and have some gifts to give away like merchandise and a grand prize trip for two to the national championships of that sport.

This could also be done for the major awards in each sport.

At the CIS level, again, get a sponsor (would be nice if sponsor was the same for CIS and conferences for that sport); and again have the same voting breakdown.

At both levels, actively seek out major media to vote on this; not just the ones that are presently part of the Top 10 committees. Get new and old media engaged with the new voting system.

Some may say that the fan voting will be skewed with people voting over and over; but voting can be limited to one vote per ISP address per day (or even one vote period) to address that problem. Get the fans engaged and excited.

Show sponsors what they will be getting in the new voting system in terms of increased exposure and visibility. Get the sponsors engaged and excited.

Sounds simple. Of course it will take work and creativity to put in place, but this is an idea with a lot of merit and one that would increase CIS major sport visibility and fan participation. The time is right for the CIS and the conferences to take this step and create a new flood of active interest in its major sports.
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