FHSAA Board of Directors Approves New Football Playoff Format

fhsaa-logo-newGAINESVILLE, FL (9/26/16) – In a 14-2 vote, the Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted to approve a new football playoff format at its meeting Monday morning.

Beginning with the 2017 season, district play will be eliminated in Classes 1A-4A, with teams making the playoffs based on a points system. Classes 5A-8A will retain districts, with the district champion receiving an automatic playoff bid.

“Based on the feedback from our membership, the majority of our constituents wanted our old playoff system changed,” FHSAA Executive Director Dr. Roger Dearing said. “We are hopeful this change will create the most exciting high school football postseason in America.”

For Classes 1A-4A, no region or district play will be required, as each school will control its own schedule. Four teams from each region (16 total) will make the playoffs based on the new points system.

District play for Class 5A-8A will remain, with 32 teams qualifying for the playoffs in each class. District champions will receive an automatic bid to the playoff and will receive a 1-4 seed based on the new points system. Four wild cards will be taken from each region based on points following the conclusion of Week 11.

In all eight classes, the higher seed will always host.

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FHSAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFF STRUCTURE

CLASS 1A-4A • No Region/District Scheduled Required • 16 Teams Qualify for the playoffs • Each School would control their own schedule • 4 Playoff Qualifiers from each region based on points • Higher seed always host

CLASS 5A-8A • District Schedule Required • 32 Teams Qualify for the playoffs • District Champion will receive an Automatic bid to the playoffs and get a 1-4 Seed based on season points • 4 wildcards will be taken from each region based on points after week 11 • Higher seed always host

HOW TEAMS EARN POINTS
Opponents will fit into one of the following four categories:
Category Win-Loss % Opponent’s Record Points (W) Points (L)

1 80% or Higher 10-0, 9-1, 8-2. 9-0, 8-1, 8-0 50 35

2 60-79% 7-3, 6-4, 7-2, 6-3 45 30

3 40-59% 5-5, 4-6 40 25

4 39% or Lower 3-7, 2-8, 1-9, 0-10, 3-6, 1-7 35 20

• Points are based on your opponent’s regular season record and your win-loss record • This system rewards winning and strength of schedule • You must play a minimum of eight games to be eligible for a playoff seed • Total games played will be divided by your total points earned (teams who choose not to schedule 10 games will not be penalized)

POINT SYSTEM – QUALIFYING CRITERIA

1. In order to be considered as a “Playoff” qualifier, a school must play a minimum of eight regular-season games. (An exception may be made by the FHSAA for schools that are not provided a full schedule of games.)

2. Only the results of regularly scheduled games scheduled prior to the start of the regular season will be used in calculating the point total. All schedules will be final on the Monday of the first regular season play date.

3. If a school plays an opponent more than once during the season, only the first game shall count in calculating the point totals.

4. Out-of-state varsity teams will be converted to the Florida classification based on the same year enrollment figures obtained from that State’s Activities Association.

5. Only regular season games of out-of-state teams will be used to calculate the point average.

6. Only regular season records will be counted from out of state opponents.

7. The score of a game goes not affect the number of points a team receives. a. A score of 7-6 will result in the same number of points as a score of 50-0

CANCELLATIONS/POSTPONEMENTS/FORFEITS
• A contest that is forfeited because of extenuating circumstances between schools shall count as a loss for the team forfeiting, and such forfeiting team shall receive wild card points for such forfeited loss.

• Schools that are required to forfeit a game or games by the FHSAA the game or games shall count such contests as one of the permissible contests under the 10 contest limitations for football. The school shall receive forfeit losses for those scheduled contests and shall be awarded wild card points for those forfeit losses

• When a school’s varsity team is unable to complete the season, those remaining teams on that school’s regular season schedule shall receive forfeit wins for those scheduled contests and shall be awarded points for those forfeit wins. Points will be determined by the forfeiting team’s percentage of wins at the time of seeding for postseason competition.

• If two schools cannot agree on the postponement and rescheduling of a regular season football game the schools should contact FHSAA office for mediation. First priority shall be given to player safety. The host team has the sole responsibility of determining if the field is fit for play. The game may be postponed or forfeited. If a forfeit is not awarded, the game must be completed by Tuesday of the school’s last permitted regular season game. If the game is not forfeited and is not played by the stipulated date, each team will be credited with a loss. If all parties cannot agree FHSAA reserves the right to consider it a “no contest” and no points will be awarded to either team and the game will be stricken from the schedule. That ruling will be made by FHSAA.

• If a school takes its team off the playing field prior to the completion of a contest, or prior to the suspension/ termination of a game by the game officials, and the contest results in a forfeit because of the refusal of the school’s team to continue play, the school shall be subject to a penalty set by the FHSAA Board of Directors. The penalty may be exclusion from participation in the district or state series of competition.

POINT SYSTEM TIEBREAKER

1. If only two teams have identical point averages and are tied for one of the qualifying spots and/or higher seed and the teams have played each other, the team that won the contest between the two teams in question will qualify for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

2. If the two teams have not played each other or if more than two teams are tied, Step 3 will be used to determine which team qualifies for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

3. If two or more teams have identical point averages and are tied for one or both of the remaining qualifying spots and/or higher seed, the team or teams with the greatest number of wins over first Category one teams will be selected and/or given the higher seed. If only two teams remain after this step and the two teams tied have played each other, Step 1 will be used to determine the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

4. If a tie still exists, the team or teams with the greatest number of wins over first and second Category teams will be selected and/or given the higher seed. If only two teams remain after this step and the two teams have played each other, Step 1 will be used to determine the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

ABOUT THE FHSAA
The Florida High School Athletic Association supervises and regulates interscholastic athletic programs for high school students at member public, private and charter schools. The organization also recognizes and honors academic achievement among student-athletes at almost 800 middle, junior and senior high schools statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, it is the official governing body for interscholastic athletics in Florida.