IHSAA makes changes to state playoff format
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org December 11, 2012 11:18PM
Updated: January 13, 2013 11:15AM
The Indiana High School Athletic Association football tournament will have four-team sectionals for Classes 5A and 6A next season.
The other four classes — 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A — will still have eight-team sectionals.
The IHSAA approved the change, which was the preference of nearly 75 percent of the schools surveyed, in a board meeting Tuesday. The change in format was necessary after the IHSAA added a sixth class last year.
The move means that teams in 5A and 6A will play their sectional championship the same week that teams in the other classes play their sectional semifinals.
The IHSAA elected to keep the state tournament week the same for all classes next year. That means that 5A and 6A semistate winners will get a bye week before they play in the state championship.
Portage coach Wally McCormack said there had been talk of adding a 10th game for 5A and 6A schools but that plan didn’t survive.
The rhythm of the playoffs will definitely change next year with the change in sectional teams and the smaller sectionals. Reclassification occurs this month and the IHSAA is expected to announce the sectional groupings in February.
McCormack said putting the bye at the end of the tournament was the right move.
“It just means less teams will be affected,” he said.