New football playoff format coming in 2012

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Columbia, Mo.- At its April Board Meeting, the Missouri State High School Activities Association Board of Directors unanimously voted for a new football playoff format for the 2012 football season.

The new format will create a nine-game regular season with schools scheduling all nine of these games. The 10th week will be the beginning of the District Championships. Teams will be placed into districts comprised of eight teams and seeded by a point system over the nine-game regular season. The third game of the championship series would be the district championship game, eight district champions and eight district runner-ups being crowned.

The district champions would then advance to the quarterfinals of the state series. There shall be two districts in 8-Man, four districts in Class 6, and eight districts each in Classes 1-5. Schools are grouped in districts based on geographical location. Classes 1-4 and Class 6 will consist of eight teams. Class 5 and 8-man will be based on the number of teams in the region and the higher-seeded teams (1-2) will get byes in the district tournament if necessary.

This format would more closely resemble the district championships in all of our other team sports. If the current start date is kept in place, the playoff games will still follow the Wednesday-Monday-Saturday format.

Another unique nuance to this format is the financial split of the Week 10 game. Because each school will only have the ability to schedule games one through nine, its schedule may be five home and four away games or four home and five away games. In Week 10 the higher seed will host the game (#1 seed would host #8 seed, #2 seed would host #7 seed, etc.). To make Week 10 financially equitable to all schools, the gate receipts (minus expenses) will be split 60/40, with the host team receiving 60% of the gate and the visiting team receiving 40% of the gate.

The classification process will remain the same, with the largest 32 schools based on enrollment figures will be in Class 6. Class 1 will consist of the smallest 64 schools, the next 64 schools will make up Class 2, the next 64 will make up Class 3 and the next 64 will make up Class 4. The remaining schools will comprise Class 5, which were 51 during the 2010 season.

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