Column: Vote coming on high school football changes


A major change on how high school football games could be scheduled in the future will be voted on Jan. 23 by the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors.

If this passes, practically every high school football team could be affected, particularly regarding what teams they play.

Basically, instead of playing traditional conference schedules, schools could be grouped in like competitive districts, based on size and geography. It’s possible conference play could be continued.

A big reason for the change, sought by a growing number of coaches, is the inability to fill teams’ schedules, particularly with stronger teams no one wants to play.

Under the proposed district system, teams would play eight games against the teams in their district, which will have 16 schools determined by the high school league.

The 16 teams could be broken down into sub-district conferences. All that and who plays whom will be decided by officials within the district.

You may ask why we haven’t heard about this big change earlier. Coaches and athletic directors must know about it. The public, which after all pays for schools and programs, appears not to be involved.

There is little time to contact members of the board of directors, the members of which are listed on the league’s website.

It is not clear how this district setup will affect the football state tournament.

All this makes sense only if the district organization has like teams, based on size and geography. Competition could be equalized, and the games could be more fun for the players.

It’s almost too late for the public to influence the decision. This already may be close to being a done deal.

Check your sports section to see how this district scheduling plan will affect your local high schools.

Don Heinzman is a columnist for ECM Publishers and a member of the ECM Editorial Board.