LHSAA Convention Underway To Discuss High School Football Postseason Split
Last year’s LHSAA Convention brought about monumental changes in how state championships were settled in high school football, but will those changes be undone this year?
The principals last year voted to split “non-select” (public) schools and “select” (private and parochial) schools once they made the playoffs, resulting in nine champions coming out of five classifications. It was a decision that caused much debate and controversy.
But could we be seeing more changes to the high school football playoffs? LHSAA President Todd Guice says, after several area meetings have been conducted over the past two weeks, there are different proposals to change the format. He says how high school principals will vote, however is anyone’s guess. “There’s been a lot of great questions, but no one is really showing their hand on how they’re going to vote,” says Guice. “I think they’re just taking it all in and trying to make the best decision for their schools and their class.”
One of the proposals, according to Guice, calls for each classification to decide if they want to have split playoffs. He says their agenda also calls for a vote on scrapping the current playoff system and returning to the previous system, which resulted in five state champions. “Then there’s all sort of other proposals on the table from tournament success factors to allowing folks to just play up and so on and so forth,” points out Guice, who also is the principal of Ouachita High School.
Guice doesn’t believe the association will vote to go back to the 5-champion system, but does think a measure could be approved that could allow the individual classifications to decide. “4A and 5A have a good chance maybe to go back together,” says Guice. “I would call that a tossup. I would think 2A and 3A would be difficult to go back to the way it was. And then when you get to 1A, I think that too is a tossup. So, it’s going to be interesting. It wouldn’t shock me if we come out of this with some changes.”
Principals will begin voting on proposed changes on Thursday.