FHSAA Board of Directors Approves Classification and Playoff Changes

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted 12-3 Monday to approve the classification proposal at its second meeting of the 2018-19 school year.

VIDEO: FHSAA Executive Director George Tomyn Speaks About the Vote

Endorsed by both the FHSAA Operations Committee (3-1, Oct. 28) and the Athletic Directors Advisory Committee (9-1, Oct. 17), the new two-year classification cycle begins with the 2019-20 school year. The Board also reduced the classifications in the following sports to six classes plus rural (rural is not affected): baseball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, softball and girls volleyball.

District tournaments will remain and be seeded by MaxPreps rankings released at the end of the regular season. However, schools are no longer required to play regular-season district contests.

Following district tournaments, the regional playoff brackets for Class 2A-7A (1A rural playoff structure remains the same) will consist of four regions per class and four districts per region. District champions now automatically qualify for the playoffs, with the top four seeds in each region being seeded by MaxPreps. Following the top four automatic qualifiers being seeded, teams 5-8 will receive at-large bids via their MaxPreps rankings. Higher seeds would host. All regional  MaxPreps rankings will combine schools’ regular season and district tournament results.

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When will our school know what classification and district we are in?
We plan to release the new classification setup once the sports season have concluded. Fall sports will be released after the completion of the fall sports season.

Does this new system encourage member schools to run up the score?
According to the MaxPreps representative who spoke at the FHSAA Board of Directors meeting Monday, there is no incentive to run up the score when it comes to MaxPreps rankings.

Could a district champion have to travel to a higher-seeded district runner-up?
No. The district champions automatically qualify for playoff seeds 1-4. After the district champions are seeded 1-4 via MaxPreps rankings, four at-large teams then qualify for seeds 5-8 via their MaxPreps rankings. The higher seed always hosts.

Is it true teams do not have to play regular-season district games to qualify for their district tournament?
Regular season district games are not required in order to participate in the district tournament.

Can I petition to move up or down a class?
Schools can petition for geographic isolation reasons per Policy 12.

Will all teams be required to report their scores on MaxPreps?
Yes. Scores are required to be inputted in MaxPreps. For football this fall, 99 percent of games have been inputted. For volleyball this fall, 97 percent of games have been inputted. Member schools who do not input their scores will be subject to sanctions.

Will schools be required to enter stats into MaxPreps with this new system?
No. Only schools advancing to the Florida High School State Championships will be required to have updated stats on MaxPreps.

FHSAA Classification Structure