New Playoff Format Leaves Some 1A Schools With Disadvantage

By Patrick Brickman | pbrickman@wmbb.com

Published 09/27 2016 11:57PM

Updated 09/27 2016 11:57PM

In case you missed it, the Florida High School Athletic Association voted in favor of revamping the football playoff system, bringing in a new points-based system that will go into effect next season.

One of the fall-outs from this decision is the removal of districts in classes 1-4A – instead grouping teams into one of four regions.

Many were against this change, including Blountstown Head Coach Greg Jordan, who drove three hours Monday to plead his case before the FHSAA board of directors.

"I feel like taking the districts away takes away an opportunity for kids to win a championship and have something to play for other than winning a state title," Coach Jordan says.

He has a point. No longer will teams in classes 1-4A be able to gain the honor of winning a district championship. The only truly recognized title will be a state championship.

There will still be districts in classes 5-8A.

Teams in 1-4A are also in charge of making their own 10 game schedule, which puts traditional 1A powerhouses such as Blountstown, Port St. Joe, Trenton, Madison County, etc at a disadvantage because they will have a tougher time finding teams to play them.

Coach Jordan says he feels they will be forced to schedule up in competition.

There are well over a dozen 1A schools in our viewing area alone and many more throughout the Pensacola and Tallahassee viewing areas.

Coach Jordan was instrumental in making Panhandle football into what we know it as today, and he says he feels our was a bit disregarded by these decision makers in South and Central Florida when the decision was made.

"They really have no idea what goes on in the Panhandle, and I just wanted to voice a concern to them that there are 18 1A schools that have been playing in this rural division that took us a long time to get established,” Jordan adds, “And now with one vote, they haven't done away with the rule, but they've changed the face of football forever with that vote of doing away with the districts. We just felt like the districts were important and 14 of the 16 schools I spoke with were in favor of keeping the districts in some capacity."

The new changes do allow for the creation of conferences within the new regions, and coach Jordan says the schools will meet some time to decide on conferences in order to set up some yearly games.

Now we'll just have to see how the new system works

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