MHSAA Announces Rules Changes In Spring Meetings
The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) announced on Wednesday morning some changes to state tournaments in boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, and in football.
The changes in basketball and soccer will have seeding in the district phase of the state tournament for the first time ever, starting with the 2019-20 school year.
From the official MHSAA release:
"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."
The changes to the 11-Player football tournament will take effect for the fall of 2020. The current six-win threshold will be eliminated and the MHSAA will use a computer formula to determine the annual 256-team field in the 11-Player tournament.
Again, from the MHSAA release:
"there no longer will be automatic qualification based on win total. The adjusted playoff points formula will award bonus points for all opponents’ wins, regardless of whether the team beat or lost to those opponents. Currently bonus points are awarded only if the team defeated an opponent. More points also are awarded for defeating teams from larger divisions. The Football Committee proposed these changes believing the bonus points received for a “good loss” – combined with the elimination of automatic qualifiers – will be enough incentive for teams to schedule more successful opponents, easing the annual difficulty in football scheduling and taking away arguably the most cited reason for the breakup of leagues and conferences."
The MHSAA also announced that the enrollment threshold for eligibility into the 8-Player football tournament will be 215 students. Any school with 215 pupils or fewer would be eligible for postseason play. This takes effect in the 2020 season as well.
More from the release:
"Currently, a school must be Class D to be eligible for the postseason, or in a one-year grace period if it grew larger than Class D for the current school year. While the Class D enrollment line changes annually, the 8-player line of 215 students will remain static year to year. The grace period also will remain for schools that might receive a one-year enrollment bump before falling back below 215 students."