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CIAC takes a good first step in fixing football playoff format.

POSTED January 22, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

CHESHIRE: As expected, the CIAC Wednesday approved several changes in how the football playoff format will look starting this fall.

The Committee voted to eliminate the quarterfinals which forced some teams to play as many as three games in 10 days.

32 teams will still qualify for the postseason in 2014 but a final decision on what the playoff format will look will be decided at their February meeting.

The 2014 playoffs will consist of a semifinal round 10 days after Thanksgiving and a championship round the following Saturday, giving the players a minimum of a week off between games.

There had been talk of eliminating the Thanksgiving game or starting the playoffs a week before the traditional last game of the regular season.

With these changes, the tradition that is Thanksgiving will stay in place, a win for all.

Playing on Thanksgiving has been a rock solid tradition in a majority of schools that most would not trade for a playoff game.

It’s deep seeded and full of history for generations of players who understand that this will be their last high school game.

Only 32 teams make the playoffs, to eliminate the last Thursday in November would hurt more players than it would help teams looking to make a run at a state title.

Plus, the three games in a little over a week never made sense from a health sense, too much was at risk and fortunately, no drastic injuries or incidents occurred over the time the playoffs were in place.

How champions will be decided is still up in the air. The field of 32 goes down to 16 in week two so the CIAC may look at increasing the number of divisions or have co-champions.

Either way, the CIAC took a positive step on Wednesday towards a more balanced and sane approach to the end of the football season.

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