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Coaches Propose Changes in City Football Playoffs


The L.A. Football Coaches Assn., representing football coaches at 49 City Section high schools, has proposed a modification of the playoff structure that could be implemented by the fall.

The association proposed to the Interscholastic Athletics Committee this week that teams not be predesignated as members of the 3-A or 4-A divisions. Instead, once the regular season is complete, teams will be placed in the appropriate divisional playoff bracket based on record and strength of schedule, City Commissioner Barbara Fiege said.

The proposal has been sent to a City subcommittee. Formal ratification is expected at IAC's next meeting on May 16, Fiege said.

"It seemed to get tacit approval from IAC," Fiege said.

Under the plan, each of the six conference champions automatically would be placed in the 16-team 4-A playoff bracket. The remaining 10 teams would be chosen subjectively. After the 4-A bracket is complete, the 16-team 3-A bracket would be filled from the remaining schools.

Fiege said the proposal "got a number of positive responses" from IAC, whose members seemed interested in applying the format to other sports. Adoption in other sports would first need to be approved by coaches, she said.

Under the existing format in football, basketball and baseball, most conferences are split into a 3-A and 4-A leagues before the season begins.

The leagues are juggled annually based on conference record, which means teams are often placed in 4-A leagues after strong seasons. However, one good season doesn't ensure a similar performance at the higher level the following year.

Also, Fiege said IAC has authorized a plan in which City openers will be played Friday, Sept. 9, the start date for most Southern Section games. The first day of school in the Los Angeles Unified School District is Sept. 12.

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