FHSAA Logo [Courtesy of the FHSAA]

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Changes are ahead for the FHSAA Football State Series Semifinals – as well for Girls Volleyball and Boys and Girls Soccer State Series Semifinals, which are the only FHSAA sports that host state semifinals at a school site.

In one of the first in-person meetings for the Florida High School Athletic Association in over a year, the Board of Directors voted to approve reseeding the state semifinals in the sports mentioned. The reseeding will be based upon the final seeding used to set the regional bracket starting in the 2021-2022 school year. In football that will mean that the final rankings after Week 11 will be used to determine the reseeding.

The determination of using the final rankings after the regular season in football and district tournaments in volleyball and soccer was due to the amount of time that might be needed to recalculate the rankings again with the final four teams in each classification in their respective sports. As it stands, football has a week between regional finals and state semifinals compared to volleyball and soccer which usually have a three-to-four-day window at most between regional finals and state semifinals which caused concern with FHSAA staff.

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The original proposal was just to have football reseeded but was tabled at the February meeting after consideration for the other sports that were added on was requested by the FHSAA Board to seek input from their respective committees regarding the topic.

• In other FHSAA news, the association reported that doing well financially given all the ups and downs for COVID-19 during the fiscal year. However, Brandi Waters, FHSAA Associated Executive Director of Financial Services said that revenues from winter sports state series events were lower than the five-year trend and spring sports state series events will expect to cost more than they will likely bring in.

Waters, however, compared Florida’s situation against the situations on-going in other states where sports have been very limited, and associations are struggling to survive compared to the FHSAA and the board’s initial decision back in August to allow sports to take place during the ongoing pandemic.

• Beach Volleyball and Girls Wrestling will become the two newest FHSAA sports in the 2021-2022 school year, which will be granted recognized status. There was discussion about waiving the policy that requires new recognized sports to wait a year before gaining a state series for that respective sport. A potential decision on waiving the policy could come before the board at the final meeting of the 2020-2021 school year in June.

• The board approved over 25 policy changes for the FHSAA handbook which guides FHSAA Staff on how to operate. Some policies were pulled and tabled for review and with more feedback from staff that will come back to them at the June meeting.

• August 2 will mark the official start date of practices for fall sports which will open the 2021-2022 academic year for high school athletics as the board approved the new calendar. For Flag Football, the first practice date will be February 14, 2022, while preseason classics will be held the week of February 28 through March 5, 2022, with the regular season commencing on Monday, March 7, 2022.

• Next FHSAA Board of Directors Meeting will be on Tuesday, June 8 in Gainesville.