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Playoff proposal passes first step

The MPSSAA looks to expand the football playoffs by adding two classifications.

The MPSSAA looks to expand the football playoffs by adding two classifications.

October 02, 2002|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

The governing body for Maryland's high school sports believes that more is better.

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) Football Committee has approved a proposal to add two classifications which will in turn add 16 teams to the postseason playoff tournament.

Under the proposal, Maryland will move from four to six divisions and would divide the state's football-playing schools evenly. Each new classification would have 28 or 29 teams.

The playoff qualification standards would remain the same, with four region winners and four at-large teams qualifying in each class. The proposal would increase the number of playoff teams from 32 to 48.

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Classes would be created based on enrollment in grades 9-11 according to current MPSSAA procedures.

The MPSSAA Football Committee has made several proposals in the last several years that would increase the number of playoff teams. Most recently, the committee shelved a plan that would have shortened the regular season to nine games and added a round of playoffs in place of the previous 10th week.

Reports to the football committee have made it clear there is little support for adding additional weeks to the season, which has ruled out starting play earlier or finishing it later.

The proposal will be reviewed by several MPSSAA committees before it is voted on by the Board of Control. If it its accepted, the recommendation will go on to the local superintendents.

The six classification alignment will apply only to football. Most other sports in Maryland - including basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball - employ an open playoff system in which all teams advance to the postseason.

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