June 7, 2012

State Football Playoffs to Feature New-Look Districts in 2012

Just two years after expanding the state football playoffs by one round, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) will unveil a much bigger change to its system in 2012.

While the regular season will remain nine-weeks in length, district assignments will change dramatically as MSHSAA institutes a points-system to seed individual teams in expanded eight-team district playoff brackets.

The changes were approved back in April of 2011 by a unanimous vote of the MSHSAA Board of Directors.

Following the nine-week regular season, the new District Championships will begin, with a series of three rounds of games to crown the eight district champs.

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.

Football district assignments for the next classification cycle were released March 31st.

Scotland County R-I will play in Class 1 District 5 along with Knox County, Louisiana, North Shelby, Paris, Schuyler County, South Shelby and Van-Far.

The 62 Class 1 teams have enrollments from 80 to 239 students. Class 2 schools have enrollments from 241-423 students. The 64 schools in Class 3 consist of enrollments of 426-701 students while Class 4's 64 schools have 719-1220 students. The state has 51 Class 5 schools with between 1,233 to 1,783 students. There are 32 schools in Class 6 with enrollments over 1,792.

The new football format will 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.

All teams will accumulate points during the nine-week regular season to establish the team's seeding in its district bracket.

After each week, each team receives either 20 points for a victory, 10 points for a loss, or 15 points for an overtime loss. The points are totaled and then divided by the number of games played.

In addition schools receive bonus points for playing up a class. Ten points are credit for each class the team plays up. For example, a Class 1 team, plays a Class 3 team. The class 1 team would receive 20 bonus points. These point totals are divided by the total number of games played by the team. There are no points taken away for playing down.

The third piece of the points standing is based on strength of schedule.

Points will be calculated from the team's schedule by taking the sum of the win/loss record from each team played times the points for a win (20 points) and loss (10 points). The calculation becomes a bit more confusing, when your team's contribution to the opponents record is subtracted out.

For example, the first team on your team's schedule, concludes the year with a 5-4 record. That strength of schedule factor would be 5x20 + 4x10, for 140 points. That sum would then be added to strength of schedule factor for the eight other teams on your team's regular season schedule. If your team was 8-1, 170 points (8x20 + 1x10) would be subtracted from that total. This total amount would then be divided by the number of games played by your opponents (minus the number of games played versus your team). For example if all nine teams had full schedules, that would be 81 games minus the nine versus your team, which would be 72 games.

The final factor for the points ranking is win/loss differential.

Teams gain a point for every point of margin of victory or lose a point for every point in the margin of defeat up to a maximum of +/- 13 points per game. This total is divided by the number of games played.

Finally, all four point scores are added together for the final points score for district seeding.

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