MPSSAA Approves Fall 2021 Football Playoff Format
The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) on Friday, September 24, 2021 approved a proposal to alleviate issues associated with COVID-19 quarantines, loss of football contests, and to provide an equitable opportunity for all schools to compete in the 2021 Football State Championships. The proposal will allow all 182-member schools playing football to enter the 2021 state tournament.
The strongly approved proposal from the MPSSAA Executive Council, which received majority support from the state football committee, follows the same playoff format with the exception of adding two classifications to allow all member schools to compete out of an eight-line regional bracket in one of six classifications. Schools will compete out of their regional bracket, with the top two schools after the opening two rounds of playoffs advancing to the state quarterfinals. The championships will feature six games the weekend of December 4-6, 2021.
The MPSSAA Executive Council gathered feedback from coaches, athletic directors, school administrators, and local Superintendent of Schools, who supported a structure that matched the other open fall sport tournaments of girls’ field hockey, boys’ and girls’ soccer, and girls’ volleyball and removes any concern of playoff implications when dealing with COVID-19 situations during the regular season.
Regions for state tournament competition were developed and approved by the MPSSAA Classification Committee. The MPSSAA Executive Council approved the classifications as part of passing the change to the state tournament policies. The tournament policy changes only affect the 2021 season.
The MPSSAA will begin to announce weekly point standings following Week four contests. All teams will earn points based on the existing point system criteria and any school has the right to withdraw from the state tournament prior to the state tournament seeding meeting.
See the region breakdowns here: 2021 Football class Region breakdown.xlsx (mpssaa.org)