Big Changes Coming to HS Football Playoffs

By Patrick Brickman | pbrickman@wmbb.com

Published 09/27 2016 12:46AM

Updated 09/27 2016 12:46AM

For the first time since 1993, the Florida High School Athletic Association is revamping it's playoff format.

Under the current format, both district champions and district runner-ups in class 1A through 8A earn automatic playoff berths.

With a 14 to 2 vote, the FHSAA Board of Directors have decided to introduce a new point system format in 2017, ultimately bringing playoff implications to all 10 games on a team's schedule.

However, the system is different for different classifications.

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For classes 5A through 8A much of what we know stays the same - there will still be 16 districts per class.

What’s different is ONLY district champions are granted automatic playoff berths - the runner-ups won't necessarily make it. Instead, there are four wildcard teams based on the points, meaning it's possible three or four teams from a district to make the playoffs.

District champions are seeded one through four and the wild-cards five through eight.

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For classes 1A through 4A it’s completely different

For the first time in history there will be no more districts. Instead, teams will be sorted into one of four regions throughout the state.

The teams themselves will be in charge of scheduling their 10 games, but are allowed to set up their own conferences for yearly guaranteed match-ups if they desire.

For the playoffs, four at large qualifiers will be taken from each conference, seeded using points, to fill out a 16-team bracket.

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Here's how the points work:

They are calculated for each team at the end of the season, and are based on the teams you played and their record.

If you beat a team that wins over 80% of their games, you get 50 points, and a loss gets you 35.

If you beat a team that wins 79-60% of their games, you get 45 points and 30 for a loss - and so on down the list.

A team’s total points are added up and divided by the amount of games they play to get your point average.

The teams with the highest average will earn the qualifying spots in the playoffs.

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These changes are set to take effect in January of 2017.

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