2014-15 Season Brings New OSAA Changes

The rules for state playoffs in Oregon have changed. Playoff changes will affect many major fall sports including football, volleyball and soccer. Unlike in previous years there will no longer be play in games for 6A football. However there will still be play in games in volleyball, boys soccer and girls soccer.

In 6A football the top four teams from each of the six leagues will be admitted to state playoffs as well as the eight top ranked teams not already granted a berth in the state playoffs who will qualify as at large teams. This means that roughly four and six eighths teams will qualify from each league.

However, since the at-large teams are selected as a result of their state power ranking and not their in league record the at-large teams will not be divided out equally from each league. As a result, a tough league, like the TRL, would probably field two at-large teams while the PLL will probably field zero at-large teams.

“The changes do not really affect football, though it is more important to win your league,” said LHS receiver coach Elvis Akpla.

Akpla believes the changes, though new, don’t truly affect the football team.

There are several good things about the removal of playoff games for example in the past teams which had no chance in the playoffs would be forced to have a play in game.

“If you’re an 0-9 team you probably don’t want to keep playing,” said athletic director

Ian Lamont. “I think that it’s going to make playoffs more competitive.”

Since much of the qualifications to enter the playoffs still rely on a team’s in-league ranking there will be a few very lopsided match ups in the first round of the playoffs. For example, as of Oct. 15 the highest ranked team, Central Catholic would be playing Jefferson, the No. 42 ranked team. Considering that the playoffs are a 32 team bracket and their are only 48 6A teams in the state, this game is sure to be a slaughter.

“The state is moving toward more weight on power ranking which I think is good,” said Lamont.

At least as the state moves away from in league positioning and toward power ranking to determine playoff eligibility first round blowouts will become less severe.

         This year, the many changes agreed upon by the OSAA’s State Championship Committee in December 2013 will become a reality. Though it will take a few seasons to tell for sure it seems that when the committee reconvenes in four years they will probably continue in the right direction.