Potential changes for FHSAA football playoff system

By Spectrum Sports Staff,
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Florida High School Athletic Association's Athletic Director Advisory Committee endorsed several potential changes to the state football playoff system for the 2018 season.

Some minor tweaks may be implemented, after what was largely considered a successful first season under the state governing body's new playoff points system.  For the first time in state history, teams were seeded based on the strength of their wins and losses, with points being awarded depending on the final record of each opponent.

The ADAC unanimously endorsed the addition of two teams from each region in Classes 1A-4A.  In 2017, only the top four teams from each region advanced to the playoffs.  If the FHSAA Board of Directors approves this change, six teams from each region will make the playoffs, with the top two seeds earning a bye.

Another recommendation endorsed by the committee is to increase the points each team receives for a loss.  Starting this fall, 35 points would be awarded to a Category 1 team (winning percentage of .800 or higher), while in 2017, only 30 points were awarded for losses to those teams.  The five-point increase would also apply for losses to teams from Category 2 through 4.

The committee also voted to more clearly define the FHSAA's procedures for postponed and interrupted football games.  Those procedures will be clarified before August and will be implemented for the 2018 season.

Other notes from the ADAC meeting:

  • Approved a 40-second play clock for football, pending approval by the National Federation of State High School Associations
  • For swimming and diving: agreed to allow the FHSAA to create guidelines regarding pay structure for schools to follow in swimming and diving; voted to have a minimum of four officials at the state swimming & diving meet
  • For cross country: approval of watches with GPS capabilities and awarding the top-15 placing runners at the state meet (will go before the Cross Country Advisory Committee in December)
  • For track & field: recommended adding javelin to the state series in 2020 (will reappear in front of the Track & Field Advisory Committee in May)
  • For golf: voted to extend golf's regular season from 14 to 16 contests (FHSAA Board of Directors will vote on this in the near future)