LHSAA sets four-game minimum for playoff teams; championships to stay at Superdome

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Springfield principal Spencer Harris speaks at the school’s graduation ceremony Monday, June 29, 2020.
David Gray | The News

NEW ORLEANS, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – The Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Executive Committee voted to keep the high school football championships at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season, while also putting a minimum of four games played for teams to qualify for the playoffs at Tuesday’s fall meeting.

“I think at a certain point, to get the playoffs, we had to have a minimum and had to draw a line somewhere, and that was the thing, because right now we’ve got a lot teams that are with COVID issues all over – heck, we’re one – that have missed multiple games, so it was kind of like, ‘All right, how many games is enough to be able to be considered for playoffs?’ So we went back and forth and looked at the numbers, and four is what we kind of came up with,” Springfield principal Spencer Harris, who is a member of the LHSAA’s Executive Committee, said, noting the football playoffs brackets will not change. “We’re looking at you’re not far from having to fill the brackets out and being able to say who’s going to be able to be in or not.”

The first round of the playoffs is set for Nov. 27 with the LHSAA Prep Classic to be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Dec. 26-28.

“It’s the only venue in the state that’s indoors that’s large enough, and you lose the weather effect and that, but ultimately, kids in the state, they want to go to the Superdome, and that was an opportunity for them if they get a chance to play there, we didn’t want to take that from them,” Harris said. “The thing of it is, it’s not just New Orleans. All around the state, there’s different limitations and numbers, so that’s something we had to consider, but I think that we’ll be able to have enough people at the Dome. It will probably have to be individual games instead of where people get there for all day and do multiple passes. It will probably be a situation where you play a game, clear out the Dome, bring in the next team type deal because that way we can maximize the number of fans that’ll get to see each team.”

Additionally, if a playoff team encounters a COVID-19 issue, it will be removed from the playoffs and its opponent will advance to the next round.

“There’s no other way around that because we’re already on a time constraint,” Harris said. “Football’s already pushed into basketball and basketball didn’t get backed up to start, so we’re way into their season as it is, so we’re locked in.”

Walker forfeits win

The Walker football team had to forfeit its 68-0 win over Broadmoor after using an ineligible player in the game, WHS principal Jason St. Pierre said.

St. Pierre said administrators misread the player’s transcript, and he was ½ a credit short of being eligible to play, resulting in the forfeiture.

The Wildcats are now 1-5 overall and 0-3 in District 4-5A play.

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