The Virginia High School League announced Tuesday morning the final formats for the regional and state football playoffs in its six classifications. While the qualifying setups for regional play have mostly been in place for a while, the setup for the final two games of the football playoffs had not totally been settled.
What's ahead is that the three smallest classifications - Groups 1A, 2A and 3A - will cross bracket for the state semfinals. That means the highest remaining two seeds from the East Region will play the highest remaining two seeds from the West, and essentially there will be no regional final. The semifinal winners will meeting in the state championship game.
This setup affects Bay Rivers District 3A schools Lafayette, Poquoson, Warhill, York and New Kent as well as 2A Bruton.
Groups 4A, 5A, 6A will not cross bracket, meaning there will be a regional final in each group, with the South Region champ playing the North Region champ in the state championship game.
This setup affects Bay Rivers District 4A schools Jamestown, Tabb, Smithfield and Grafton as well as the entire Peninsula District, whose schools are all 4A or larger.
Below are the specifics of the VHSL finalized football playoff format.
Group 1A, 2A and 3A
Top 16 (qualify for regionals) by power rating regardless of conference and cross bracket semifinals
Top 16 by power rating regardless of conference and semifinals will NOT cross bracket
5 A South: Top 8 from Central Conferences bracketed together; Top 8 from Eastern Conferences bracketed together, final teams from each bracket meet in state semifinal (will NOT cross bracket semifinals)
5A north: Top 16 by power rating regardless of conference and will NOT cross bracket semifinals
6 A South: Top 8 each section (Conference 1 & 2 – top 8; Conference 3 & 4 – top 8) with final 4 in region then reseeded and will NOT cross bracket in state semifinals
6A North: Top 16 by power rating regardless of conference and will NOT cross bracket semifinals