FHSAA Approves Major Changes To High School Football Playoff Structure Starting In 2017
By Austin Lyon, Bright House Sports Network // September 28, 2016
VOTE WAS 14-2 IN FAVOR OF NEW SYSTEM
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Major changes are coming to Florida high school football.
The FHSAA Board of Directors voted 14-2 to adopt a plan that eliminates districts for smaller schools in Classes 1A-4A while adding wild card playoff berths for 5A-8A teams.
“This is a landmark day for high school football in the state of Florida,” said FHSAA football administrator Frank Beasley, who oversaw the formulation of the new format.
A points system that rewards wins and strength of schedule will determine wild card spots and seeding for the region playoffs.
The new format will take effect for the 2017 season.
“From a small school standpoint, it allows schools to control their own schedules, put some power back in schools,” Beasley said. “It’s going to create a more exciting playoff by going to a seeding system.”
“As far as competing and having a level of excitement and trying, trying to put a new format in place, it sounds like it’s going to be very competitive,” said Nick Grasso, Pinellas County Director of Athletics.
Under current rules, the champion and runner-up of each district automatically advance to the postseason. In the new system, a district champion in 5A-8A is automatically guaranteed a spot in the playoffs and a first round home game.
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