High School Football in Michigan will see several changes made by the MHSAA
JTV Sports | May 10th, 2019 | Gabriel Schray
Jackson, Michigan– The Michigan High School Athletic Association is tweaking the high school football playoff system. Beginning in the fall of 2020, a team’s strength of schedule will be the main factor in whether a school is in or out of the 256-team playoff field. Schools will now be rewarded, even if they lose, for playing against a quality opponent.
This format also will have predetermined divisions, meaning a school will no longer have to wait for the Sunday selection show following the games of Week 9 to know which division it will be in for the playoffs.
“The addition of seeding at the District level in basketball and soccer and multiple adjustments to the process used to select the playoff field for 11-player football were among the most notable actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its annual Spring Meeting, May 5-6 in Gaylord,” said the beginning of the press release by the MHSAA.
The MHSAA also voted to reduce the amount of full-contact football practice from a maximum of 90 to 30 minutes per week. This also included drastically reducing the amount of full contact allowed in preseason workouts.
Previously, Michigan allowed one full-contact practice per day in the preseason. Now, teams will get a maximum of six hours a week, including scrimmages, before the season starts.
Several other states currently have contact restrictions in place or are considering them.
“The MHSAA will also be tweaking the basketball playoff system following their May 5th and 6th meeting. Several changes are being made at the district level. Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, girls and boys basketball and soccer will employ a seeding process to place the top two teams in every District on opposite sides of that bracket, guaranteeing those two teams could not play each other before the District championship game.”
Other notable MHSAA changes
- In boys and girls golf, competitors can now use cell phones for distancing.
- In boys and girls golf, the maximum score per hole will be 12.
- Intending to boost the dwindling official pool, the Student Officials Legacy Program is expanding to include freshmen and sophomores of at least 14 years of age.
For more local sports news and information, you can connect with JTV Sports on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This article was wirtten by JTV’s Gabriel Schray. He is in his fifth year covering Jackson Area sports and news for JTV. You can connect with Gabriel on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well.