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Plant City Observer Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 3 months ago

FHSAA Playoffs: It’s complicated, but it works

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Florida’s high school football points system isn’t the most user-friendly method, yet it is explainable.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

None of the Plant City-area teams made the playoffs in 2017, but one thing was made clear across the state: the new system gets the job done.

In February, the FHSAA approved a five-point increase for losses taken to opponents in all four tiered categories. Category 1 losses net a team 35 points, Category 2 losses net 30 points, Category 3 losses net 25 points and Category 4 losses net 20 points. Teams that forfeit games get the points for a loss. In case you forgot, the categories are determined by teams’ win percentages. Any team winning 80% or more of their games falls into Category 1; Category 2 features teams between 60-79%, Category 3 teams fall in the 40-59% range and Category 4 teams win no more than 39% of their games. Only teams with at least eight games played will be playoff eligible.

Three bonus points are awarded for playing teams that finished in the previous year’s (in this case, 2017) MaxPreps or USA Today final rankings and for playing teams that made the playoffs in either 2015 and 2016. Because Plant City made the cut in 2015 and Durant made the cut in 2016, anyone who plays them will get the three-point bonuses that carried over from last season. For those keeping score at home, Category 1 losses can be worth up to 38 points if that opponent made the playoffs in 2016 and/or 2017, Category 2 losses can get you 33 points, Category 3 losses can get you 28 points and Category 4 losses can get you 23 points.

It’s still in effect that, if one of your opponents only played nine games for whatever reason, your team won’t be penalized and the end-of-year points total is still based on the percentages. Though Hurricane Irma essentially killed off two calendar weeks of football last year, many schools dropped only one game and held a series of early-week make-up games to hit the nine-game quota for staying penalty-free.

Last season, the FHSAA updated point standings on a weekly basis. Point totals and weekly standings will be viewable at fhsaa.org/sports/football.

 

BREAKING TIES

The FHSAA's football manual, viewable on the FHSAA website's Football page, describes the tiebreaker procedures as follows:

4.7.4.3 Point System – Tiebreaker

(a) If only two teams have identical point averages and are tied for one of the qualifying spots and/or higher seed and the teams have played each other, the team that won the contest between the two teams in question will qualify for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

(b) If the two teams have not played each other or if more than two teams are tied, Step 3 will be used to determine which team qualifies for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

(c) If two or more teams have identical point averages and are tied for one or both of the remaining qualifying spots and/ or higher seed, the team or teams with the greatest number of wins over first Category one teams will be selected and/ or given the higher seed. If only two teams remain after this step and the two teams tied have played each other, Step 1 will be used to determine the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

(d) If a tie still exists, the team or teams with the greatest number of wins over first and second Category teams will be selected and/or given the higher seed. If only two teams remain after this step and the two teams have played each other, Step 1 will be used to determine the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed.

(e) If a tie still exists, the team or teams with the greatest number of wins over first and second and third Category teams will be selected and/or given the higher seed. If only two teams remain after this step and the two teams have played each other, Step 1 will be used to determine the qualifier for the State Play-offs and/or get the higher seed. (f) If the tie still exist between three schools the schools will be placed in alphabetical order and school one will have a coin flip against school two, the winner of that coin flip will face school three in another coin flip. Team one calls the flip in round 1. Team three calls the flip in round 3. If two teams are tied the teams will be placed in alphabetical order and school one will call the flip vs school two. The winner of the coin flip advances to the playoffs.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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