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FHSAA approves football changes

The Florida High School Athletic Association passed rules that will change the way high school football playoffs will work for schools classified from 1A-4A. These changes come after the FHSAA instituted a points system for high school football playoffs in the 2017 season. The FHSAA voted on 11 issues in total, with five passing.

Here are the new high school football rules for the 2018 season.

More points for a high-quality loss

Last season the teams were rewarded 35 points for defeating a category 4 team (a team with a record ranging from 0-10 to 3-7) and 30 points for losing to a category 1 team (a team with a record of 8-2 or better). The problem is that a team would rather schedule an easier team and win than schedule a harder team that they could lose to. The changes make a loss against a team with a good record the same as a win against a team with a bad record. Now teams aren’t punished for having a tough schedule when compared to teams with an easier one.

Bonus points for playing teams in larger classes

In the old system, teams weren’t awarded more points for playing teams in higher classifications, only for playing teams that had a better record. Coaches weren’t a fan of the decision, leading to this change. The result will be a maximum of three bonus points awarded for each team played in a higher classification. The amount of bonus points played will be determined based on the win-loss record of the team in the higher classification. This change will not be put into effect until 2019, as the Athletic Director committee wanted more time to research the plan.

Two more playoff teams per region for 1A-4A schools

Under the current system, four teams from four regions will go to the playoffs for a total of a 16 team playoff for each classification. Now, there will be an additional 2 teams per region for a total of 24 teams in the playoffs for each classification. This means that the 1 and 2 seeds will get a first-round bye and then the 3-seed will play the 6-seed and the 4-seed will take on the 5-seed.

Changes to postponed and interrupted games

Under the new rules, if a game is interrupted because of weather, the teams will be required to either finish the game the next day or have an agreed date to finish the game set up by the next day at 9 a.m. This is to make sure that teams don’t miss out on any points that could shape their position in the standings or the number of points they award another team.

Increased roster size in the playoffs

Teams will now be allowed to dress 75 players per game, up from 60 in previous seasons. This means that larger schools can use their full rosters. It also means that more players can be brought up from JV to bolster a team’s depth. This change can’t be implemented until the 2019 season because this rule was denied last year.


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