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Arizona Making Big Changes to HS Football Classification & Playoffs

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The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Legislative Council recently passed a new reclassification model for football.  The model will use the average weighted maxpreps power rating to determine the conference placement of a football team. The previous three seasons of a team will be used to calculate the power rating.  The new model will begin during the 2020-21 school year. According to the new bylaw, a team can't move up or down more than one conference.  And instead of reclassifying football teams every two years, football teams will be reclassified after each season under the new model.

Starting next season, eight teams will be pulled from the best of the big-school conferences to play in the first Open Division for the Arizona high school football playoffs.  It will be in the middle of the two-year scheduling block, but, based on criteria such as strength of schedule, at the end of the 2019 regular season, there will be eight teams chosen for the Open Division while each of the big-school conferences (6A, 5A, 4A) will still play a 16-team playoff.  The Open Division tournament champion will be considered the state champion to help cultivate a culture in which schools strive to be part of the Open Division playoffs, AIA Executive Director David Hines said.  Teams would still play in their respective 6A, 5A and 4A conferences during the regular season, before the best eight move onto the Open Division.  The eight teams will pulled out of the best from 6A, 5A and 4A through a computer rankings system. About 10-15 teams would be posted as part of the Open Division by the AIA each week starting Week 5.



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47 minutes ago, gatorman-uf said:

I like it, not perfect, but definitely recognizes that school size is only one olfactor that determines competitiveness.

In essence, it is a relegation system.  If a small school gets placed in the top class and struggles to compete, they will eventually get moved down in class as their power rating drops.

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