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FHSAA Releases New Playoff Rules for High School Football

There is a new system to determine who will make the postseason in high school football in Florida. After using the points system the last two seasons, Florida will use a system very familiar to those who follow college basketball. The FHSAA Football Advisory Committee voted to implement a RPI (ratings power index) system to determine who makes the playoffs.

New System

The RPI system is designed to award teams for having tougher schedules. The formula is made up of three different winning percentages. A team’s winning percentage will make up 35%. The opponents’ winning percentage will also make up 35%. Then, the opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage makes up the final 30% of the formula.

This gets rid of the bonus points system, which the FHSAA called a “scheduling havoc.” Now, the rankings will be based on scores solely reported on One of the aspects of the old system that remains is automatic qualification for district champions. For non-district champion teams, their qualification and or seeding will be determined by the RPI.

Under the new RPI model, margin of victory won’t be a factor under the new system. If a Florida team beats a team out-of-state, the win will count the same as it would against another Florida team.

Why The Change?

For the last two years, the playoff fates of teams around the state were decided through the points system. This system was based on awarding a predetermined set of points for strength of schedule. The committee said the old points system is “shallow.”

The change was made to allow more transparency and clarity in the process. With the breakdown of RPI clear, everyone now understands how .

Local Coaches Weigh In

While the goal of the new system is for the teams be on the same page, coaches around the state are split on the change. Two local coaches weighed in on the new changes.

While coaches think it’ll be easier now, Eastside head coach Cederrick Daniels said he doesn’t agree complexities of the new system.

Daniels wants Florida to do their own thing, not try to copy what other states are doing.

Buchholz head coach Mark Whittemore does favor the scientific approach to the new RPI. However, he does have some concerns.

Whittemore feels the new system takes away some of the human element to the game.

Also, Whittemore thinks it will make it harder for teams to recover after tough years.

What’s Next?

The next step for this proposal is to gain approval from the athletic directors and the FHSAA board. Once both groups approve, it will be officially implemented

for the 2019 season.


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