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2013 VHSL Football Changes FAQs
Updated: October 9, 2013
With the 2013-2015 VHSL Realignment and Reclassification process completed and the football season set to kick off, there are plenty of changes in store this season. Below we've compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the 2013 changes for the VHSL football structure.
Why were there such major changes?
Primarily to erase the enrollment disparities happening at the state level for the previous A, AA and AAA championships.
For example, Briar Woods captured the AA, Division Four state title last season in football with an enrollment of 1,752 students while the AAA, Division Five state champion Lake Taylor Titans came from a school with an enrollment of 1,239.
Are there still districts?
Yes. Districts remain in place, but there are some changes since the 2012 season as there are during each redistricting and reclassification process. The 2013-2015 district alignments can be found here: 2013-2015 Adopted District Alignment
In football, schools in the same district that are separated by 3 classifications or more are NOT required to play each other. For example, in the Piedmont District: 3A schools Tunstall and Patrick County are NOT required to play 6A Franklin County. They are allowed to play them, but there is no requirement.
There is some variance across the state about postseason all-district teams being named. Some districts are going to stick with naming all-district teams while other areas are making adjustments to name all-county or all-area teams.
What does the realignment mean for the regular season?
For the regular season, the impact is generally minimal for most schools. Schools will play their district opponents (except in the case of a 3 classification separation, as explained above) along with a non-district schedule.
How is the postseason affected?
The postseason is where the changes are most pronounced. All VHSL member schools have been divided up, stricly by enrollment, into six classes -- 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A, and 1A.
Each class has been divided into regions. For 6A, 5A and 4A, the regionals are divided into "North" and "South". For 3A, 2A, and 1A, the regionals are divided into "East" and "West".
Further, each section is made up of conferences. In general, for postseason play, conferences will be a larger factor for NON FOOTBALL competitions. The 2013-2015 Regional alignments can be found here: 2013-2015 Adopted Region/Conference Alignment
How will the playoffs work?
Each class - 1A through 6A - will crown a champion. Each Region - 6A North, 6A South, etc. - will begin the playoffs with 16 teams. Regional playoff seeding will be determined by the team's VHSL rating (see next question) and the associated tiebreakers found in the VHSL handbook.
6A: Will NOT cross-bracket at Final 4. So, on state semifinal Saturday, 6A North will match its two remaining schools and 6A South will match its two remaining schools.
*Note: For the First and Second rounds, 6A South will match teams from conferences 1 & 2 together and conferences 3 & 4 together. After the second round, 6A South will re-seed the four remaining teams based on Regular Season VHSL ratings.
5A: Will NOT cross-bracket at Final 4. So, on state semifinal Saturday, 5A North will match its two remaining schools and 5A South will match its two remaining schools.
*Note: For the first three rounds, 5A South will match teams from conferences 9 & 10 together and conferences 11 & 12 together. After the third round, 5A South will match the winner of the Conference 9/10 (Eastern) bracket with the winner of the Conference 11/12 (Central) bracket on state semifinal Saturday.
4A: Will NOT cross-bracket at Final 4. So, on state semifinal Saturday, 4A North will match its two remaining schools and 4A South will match its two remaining schools.
3A: WILL cross-bracket at Final 4. So, on state semifinal Saturday, 3A West's highest-rated remaining school will host 3A East's lowest-rated remaining school and vice versa.
2A: WILL cross-bracket at Final 4. So, on state semifinal Saturday, 2A West's highest-rated remaining school will host 2A East's lowest-rated remaining school and vice versa.
1A: WILL cross-bracket at Final 4. So, on state semifinal Saturday, 1A West's highest-rated remaining school will host 1A East's lowest-rated remaining school and vice versa.
How are the VHSL ratings calculated?
The VHSL ratings for football have also undergone changes since the 2012 season. The new ratings will be calculated on the scale found here: 2013 VHSL Football Rating Scale.