High school league considers major change for football competition

By DON HEINZMAN

ECM PUBLISHERS

 

A major change on how high school football games could be scheduled in the future will be voted on Jan. 23 by the Minnesota High School League Board of Directors.

If this passes, practically every high school football team could be affected, particularly on what teams they play.

This change would do away with traditional conferences, like the Lake and other suburban conferences, for football competition.

Basically, instead of playing conference schedules, schools would be grouped in like competitive districts, based on size and geography.  It’s possible that traditional rivalries could be gone.

A big reason for the change sought by a growing number of coaches is the inability to fill their schedules, particularly with strong teams no one want to play.

Under the district system, teams would play eight games against the teams in their district, which will have 16 schools determined by the high school league.

Instead of having conference champions and all conference teams, there would be all district teams and championship play downs. The 16 teams could be broken down into sub-district conferences. All that and who plays whom will be decided by officials with in the district.

You may ask why haven’t we heard about this big change earlier?   Obviously coaches and athletic directors know all about it. The public, which after all pays for schools and programs, appears not to be involved.

There is little time to contact members of the Boards of Directors, who are listed on the league’s web site.

It is not clear how this district set-up will affect the football state tournament.

All this makes sense only if the district organization has like teams, based on size and geography. Competition could be equalized and the games could be more fun for the players.

It’s almost too late for the public to influence the decision. This already may be close to being a done deal.

Check your sports section to see how this district scheduling plan will affect your favorite high school.

 

Don Heinzman is a columnist for ECM and Sun Publications. Reactions to this and any other commentary printed on these pages are always welcome. Send to: peggy.bakken@ecm-inc.com.

 
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