(Oct. 8, 2013) – There has been quite a bit of learning to do this fall in the revamped world of Virginia High School League athletics.
Fist there was the reorganization statewide to a 6A system with the addition of a new postseason level of conference play for all sports except for football. Then there was a new formula to figure out football ratings. Now comes a slightly different way to conduct the football playoffs depending on your school’s classification and in some cases, which part of the state the school is located.
Here is the breakdown of how the state playoffs in football will be conducted and what it means for local teams:
Group 1A, 2A and 3A
Top 16 by power rating regardless of conference and cross bracket semifinals
What it means for John Champe and Loudoun Valley: Loudoun’s two smallest schools play in the 3A East. The cross bracket semifinals means that the 16-team 3A East playoffs will not crown a 3A East champion but when two teams remain, they will then face the final two teams from 3A West in the semifinals. Under this plan a state final could include two teams from 3A East.
Top 16 by power rating regardless of conference and semifinals will NOT cross bracket
What it means for Dominion, Heritage, Loudoun County, Park View and Woodgrove: 4A North where the local teams play will hold a 16-team playoffs crowning a 4A North champion and then that winner will play the 4A South champion in the state title game. Under this plan, the 4A North and 4A South title games are essentially the state semifinals.
5 A South: Top 8 from Central Conferences bracketed together; Top 8 from Eastern Conferences bracketed together, final teams from each bracket meet in state semifinal (will NOT cross bracket semifinals)
5A north: Top 16 by power rating regardless of conference and will NOT cross bracket semifinals
What is means for Briar Woods, Broad Run, Freedom, Potomac Falls, Stone Bridge and Tuscarora: Like 4A North, 5A North will hold a 16-team playoff and crown a 5A North champion and then that winner will play the 5A South champion in the state title game. Under this plan, the 5A North and 5A South title games are essentially the state semifinals.
6 A South: Top 8 each section (Conference 1 & 2 – top 8; Conference 3 & 4 – top 8) with final 4 in region then reseeded and will NOT cross bracket in state semifinals
6A North: Top 16 by power rating regardless of conference and will NOT cross bracket semifinals