Texas bill would cut number of HS football playoff teams

December 17, 2014 / Football
A Texas state senator recently filed a bill that would drastically reduce the number of high school football teams that qualify for the playoffs.

UILThe bill, filed by Sen. Charles Perry, would allow just two teams from each University Interscholastic League district to reach the postseason. Current rules allow for four teams.

From the Dallas Morning News:

“Current UIL rules allow 50 percent to 74 percent of football teams to make the playoffs,” Perry said in a news release. “We have truly watered down competition to the point that 0-10 and 1-9 teams are able to make the playoffs in some districts.”

This season, Houston Scarborough was believed to be the first winless team to ever make the Texas high school football playoffs. It lost 64-0 in the first round and finished the season 0-11 and with a 58-game losing streak.

“This not only devalues the hard work of the first- and second-place teams in a district, but it costs our school districts thousands of dollars that could be spent in the classroom,” Perry said. 

“The cost is especially high in rural areas. Some schools in my district are spending an upwards of $8,000 per playoff game.”

According to the article, 56 percent of the state’s 1,209 teams made the playoffs last season — a number that would have been reduced to 32 percent under Perry’s proposal.

The UIL issued a statement expressing its willingness to work with Perry while defending its playoff structure.

“The current system for UIL playoffs has been developed through the UIL rule making process, which is governed by UIL superintendents and member schools with opportunities for public input,” the statement read. “UIL member schools believe the current playoff system best serves the schools and students of Texas.”

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