Boston High School: MHSFCA

Taking the Field: End of the line, Pt. 3

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
5:16
PM ET
(Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of entries explaining the MIAA’s new statewide football playoff system. For the entire series, click HERE. All information courtesy of the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association and its website.)

Everybody wants to be the last team standing come Super Bowl Saturday, but for the first time in 2013, the path to the MIAA Super Bowls will be different. There will be six statewide championships contested for the first time this season. And, with practices set to kick off across the state in less than a week, we’re taking time to dissect the playoff process to introduce our audience to the new system.

Today, we’re taking a look at what happens to teams that do not run to their respective championship games. Without further ado, we take a look at perhaps the most misunderstood tenet of the plan: REPEAT, teams not qualifying DO NOT have to schedule their own games for Weeks 8 to 10.

For team who fail to make the eight-team cut in their respective divisions, here's how the final three weeks of the regular season will proceed in each division (not taking into account Thanksgiving Day games, which are scheduled in advance).
  • 11-team Divisions (Div. 3 Northwest, Div 3. Northeast):
    • Week 8 (Nov. 1-2): Seed 10 @ Seed 9; 11NW @ 11NE.
    • Week 9 (Nov. 8-9): 9 @ 11; 10NW @ 10NE.
    • Week 10 (Nov. 15-16): 11 @ 10; 9 NW @ 9 NE.
  • 12-team Divisions (Div. 1, Div. 2 North and South, Div. 3 ):
    • Week 8: 12 @ 9; 11 @10.
    • Week 9: 9 @ 11; 10 @12.
    • Week 10: 12 @11; 10 @9.
  • 14-team Divisions (Div. 5 North):
    • Week 8: 12 @ 9; 13 @ 10; 14 @ 11.
    • Week 9: 9 @ 11; 12 @ 10; 13 @ 14.
    • Week 10: 10 @ 9; 11 @ 13; 14 @ 12.
  • 16-team Divisions (Div. 4 North and South, Div. 5 South):
    • Week 8: 12 @ 9; 11 @ 10; 16 @ 13; 15 @ 14.
    • Week 9: 9 @ 11; 10 @ 12; 13 @ 15; 14 @ 16.
    • Week 10: 12 @ 11; 10 @ 9; 16 @ 15; 14 @ 13.
  • 20-team Divisions (Div. 6 North and South):
    • Week 8: 12 @ 9; 11 @ 10; 16 @ 13; 15 @ 14; 20 @ 17; 19 @ 18.
    • Week 9: 9 @ 11; 10 @ 12; 13 @ 15; 14 @ 16; 17 @ 19; 18 @ 20.
    • Week 10: 12 @ 11; 10 @ 9; 16 @ 15; 14 @ 13; 20 @ 19; 18 @ 17.

OK, so now, let say you qualified for the playoffs and happen to lose in the rounds leading up to Week 10.

If that's the case, here's the bracketology. Hang with us here as we set this up ...

In this scenario, the No. 1 seed vs. No. 8 game will be known as Game 1. No. 4 vs No. 5 is Game 2, No. 3 vs. No. 6 is Game 3 and No. 2 vs. No. 7 is Game 4. The Week 9 games featuring the winner of No. 1 vs. No. 8 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 will be Game 5. The other sectional semifinal will be Game 6.

Now that we have that construct in place, here's how the loser's bracket of games will fill out:
  • The loser of Game 1 will meet the Game 2 loser in Game 7.
  • The loser of Game 3 will meet the Game 4 loser in Game 8.
  • Then, the winner of those games will meet, with the losers meeting each other in Week 10.
  • The losers of Game 5 and Game 6 will then meet in Week 10.

There are stipulations on the host sites of those games, so check out the full rundown on MHSFCA.net as to the specifics across each region. And, of course, as those dates near, be sure to keep up with ESPN Boston.

That's going to put a wrap on our latest Taking the Field feature, but be sure to check back for one more, when we'll lay out all the Divisions (statewide), so you can find where your local team fits in the state championship quest.

Past installments:

Part 1: Qualifying | Part 2: Bracketology

Taking the Field: Bracketology, Pt. 2

August, 15, 2013
8/15/13
5:27
PM ET
(Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of entries explaining the MIAA’s new statewide football playoff system. For the entire series, click HERE. All information courtesy of the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association and its website.)

Everybody wants to be the last team standing come Super Bowl Saturday, but for the first time in 2013, the path to the MIAA Super Bowls will be different. There will be six statewide championships contested for the first time this season. And, with practices set to kick off across the state in less than a week, we’re taking time to dissect the playoff process to introduce our audience to the new system.

Today, we’re taking a look at the sectional tournaments. Without further ado:

In the last installment, we covered the qualification process for the statewide football playoffs. Now, here's how the road the championships lays out.

Division 1 is only contested in North and South brackets, involving Eastern Mass. teams. In Divisions 2, 4, 5 and 6, competition will play out in North, South, Central and West sections. Division 3 is also played exclusively in Eastern Mass. but features four sectionals, drawing from the Northwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.

As previously covered, eight teams advance to each sectional playoff, following Week 7 play.

Play across all sectionals will follow the No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 4 vs. No. 5, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 2 vs. No. 7 bracket style, with the winner of No. 1 vs. No. 8 advancing to play the winner of No. 4 vs. No. 5, and so on.

Here are a couple more notes on play:
  • Games will be played at the site of team with the higher seed. However, if the representing tournament director finds the facilities are unsuitable, another venue can be enlisted. Also, upon reaching the state semifinals, competition will be played at predetermined locations.
  • In 2013, the state semifinals will be hosted in the following districts, by division: Central vs. West, Div. 2 and 6 - West; Central vs. West, Div. 4 and 5 - Central; North vs. South, Div. 2 and 5 - North; North vs. South, Div. 4 and 5 - South; Northeast vs. Northwest, Div. 3 - Northeast; Southeast vs. Southwest, Div. 3 - Southwest.
  • Games are to follow NCAA rules and have 11-minute quarters (save for the championship games, which will have 10-minute quarters).

With that being said, we'll catch you back tomorrow for the third installment of this series, when we'll look at some key dates to note on the calendar, as well as one of the most contentious points of the new system: what the final weeks of the season will be like for teams not making the playoff cut.

Taking The Field: Qualifying, Pt. 1

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
10:48
AM ET
(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of entries explaining the MIAA’s new statewide football playoff system.)

Introduction

Everybody wants to be the last team standing come Super Bowl Saturday, but for the first time in 2013, the path to the MIAA Super Bowls will be different. There will be six statewide championships contested for the first time this season. And, with practices set to kick off across the state in less than a week, we’re taking time to dissect the playoff process to introduce our audience to the new system.

Today, we’re taking a look at qualification, by section.

(All information courtesy of the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association and its website.)

NORTH AND SOUTH

Here’s the skinny:
  • Eight teams will qualify for the Sectional Tournament in both North and South in the following tournaments: Div. 1, 2, 3 (separated into four pools – Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast) 4, 5 and 6.
  • Only in Eastern Mass., automatic qualifiers are qualified for postseason sectional play. Leagues with five or more teams automatically qualify two teams for the playoffs, while leagues with less than five teams will automatically qualify one team for the playoffs.
  • In the event that a sectional field is overpopulated with automatic qualifiers, the top team from each league will automatically be placed in bracket. The remaining slots will be ranked by power ranking until a field of eight teams has been satisfied with “Wild Cards” – meaning leagues can end up with multiple representatives within tournaments.
  • Power rankings are scaled by the following rubric: 12 points awarded for a win over a team in a higher division; 10 points for win over a team in same division – also for a team outside of the North or South; 8 points for a win over a team in a lower division.
  • Value is also placed on opponents with three points for every win an opponent has after victory and one point for every win an opponent has after defeat. Ties are half the corresponding value (1.5/0.5).
  • A team’s final power rating is calculated by this formula: (Own Value + Opponents Value) / Number of games played.
CENTRAL

Central and Western Mass. have chosen to forego the automatic qualifier process, so the process becomes a little more streamlined. However, there are differences to the field size due to the number of participating schools in each district.

Here’s the skinny in Central:
  • Eight teams in Division 2, 4, 5 and 6 will qualify for the sectional tournament.
  • Teams will be seeded in each division according to the CMass power rating system.
  • Power rankings are scaled by the following rubric: 12 points awarded for a win over a team which is two divisions higher; 10 points awarded for defeating a team within own division, defeating a team within league, defeating a team outside of District, for defeating a team either one division up or one division down; eight points awarded for defeating opponent which is two divisions lower.
  • Also, two points are awarded for each of opponents’ victories, in victory, and one point awarded for each of opponents’ victories, in loss.
  • The total number of points for each team will be divided by the number of games played by that team to determine the team’s power ranking.*
* (For tie-breaker procedures, visit MHSFCA.net)

WEST

Here’s the skinny:
  • Four teams in Divisions 2, 4, 5 and 6 will qualify for the sectional tournament.
  • Teams will be seeded in each division according to the WMass power rating system.
  • Power rankings are scaled by the following rubric: 16 points awarded for defeating teams more than two divisions higher (excluding mandated games); 14 points awarded for defeating team two divisions higher (excluding mandated games); 12 points awarded for defeating team one division higher; 10 points awarded for defeating team within own division, within league or team outside of Massachusetts; 8 points awarded for defeating team one division lower; 6 points for defeating team two divisions lower; 4 points for defeating team more than two divisions lower; 2 points for each of opponents’ victories after victory.
  • Also, two points are awarded for each of opponents’ victories, in victory, and one point awarded for each of opponents’ victories, in loss.
  • The total number of points for each team will be divided by the number of games played by that team to determine the team’s power ranking.*
* (For tie-breaker procedures, visit MHSFCA.net)

OK, everybody had enough for today? We’ll give you some time to deal with your ensuing Popsicle headache before going any further.

Class is adjourned for today (and the worst is behind us), but be sure to check back tomorrow when we outline the playoff brackets and how state champions will be decided.

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