As you may recall this past January, the Class C, B, and 1A principals approved the sanctioning of 8-man football by the LHSAA should we have a minimum of 16 schools declare to participate. Several schools have inquired about the progress of 8-man football.
We have included the approved proposal as well as a few frequently asked questions for your review. We will also be hosting an 8-man football question and answer sessions at the LHSCA Coaching Clinic on Wednesday, July 16 @ 10:00 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge. In addition to this meeting, Keith Alexander will also be available for a Q&A session at each of his regularly scheduled football rules clinics at various sites around the state during the month of August. A complete list of these meetings can be found below.
Approved Section 14-Football, by adding Rule 14.20, Page 100 of the 2013-14 LHSAA Bylaws to be worded as follows:
14.20 -- EIGHT-MAN FOOTBALL (Participating schools shall be classified as non-football schools under Section 8, Classification, in the LHSAA Constitution.)
14.20.1 -- Effective for the 2015 season and thereafter, the LHSAA shall sanction 8-man football if a minimum of sixteen (16) schools declare to participate in 8-man football. In a classification year a school which desires to participate in 8-man football for the upcoming season shall notify the LHSAA Executive Director in writing by October 15. The declaration shall apply for the two-year classification interval. June 1, 2014 is the date for the initial declaration to play 8-man football for the 2015 season year.
14.20.2 -- Member schools shall not be allowed to participate in 8-man and 11-man football in the same two-year classification interval. Only member schools with an enrollment of 235 or less may participate in 8-man football. 8-man football schools shall participate in one division and shall not be placed in districts for regular season play.
14.20.3 -- 8-man football schools shall be limited to eight (8) regular season contests. The first regular season game shall be played on the 9th calendar week in conjunction with the beginning of 11-man football. 8-man football schools shall participate in a minimum of five (5) regular season contests against other member schools to qualify for the playoffs.
14.20.4 -- 8-man football schools shall use either an 8-team or 16-team bracket for playoff competition. No more than 50% of the teams that participate in 8-man football shall advance to the playoffs. (Shall have a minimum of 32 teams participating in 8-man football to use a 16-team bracket.)
14.20.5 -- 8-man football schools shall be seeded (1-8 or 1-16) according to their power rating. 8-man football playoffs games shall begin on the 17th calendar week. 8-man football playoff games through the championship game shall be played on a home-away basis. The home team shall be determined by applying
14.20.6 -- 8-man football shall be governed by playing rules as adopted by the NFHS except as noted below:
1. 8-man football shall use ten (10) minutes playing quarters with two (2) minutes between quarters and a fifteen (15) minutes half-time period.
2. A “mercy” rule shall apply to 8-man football. The game is ended under this rule if a team is losing by 45 or more points at halftime or at any point after. The mercy rule shall apply to all contests played including regular season and playoff contests.
14.20.7 -- Rule 14.4.2 ($10,000 bond) does not apply to 8-man football.
14.20.8 -- Rule 14.5 (discontinuing football) does not apply to 8-man football.
14.20.9 -- Any member school with less than 235 students that was a non-football school the preceding year but desires to participate in the sport shall be required to participate in 8-man football a minimum of two (2) years prior to declaring to participate in 11-man football.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What size playing field will be used for 8-man football? The size of the playing field for 8-man football shall be the same as for 11-man football. This decision was made to allow an 8-man football school to use a field of a neighboring school without any modification since many of the schools that wish to play 8-man football may not have an on campus field.
2. When do I have to declare to play 8-man football? The initial declaration date to play 8-man football for the 2015 season year was June 1, 2014 and the final deadline to declare is October 15, 2015.
3. How much does it cost to start an 8-man football team? We reached out to a couple of local sporting goods representatives and got the following information. Here are some ballpark price ranges for outfitting football players. You will pay more per unit for everything they buy because the quantities per item per order will be low.
Shoulder Pads: $100-$300
Practice Jersey: $13-$30
Game Jersey: $30-$150 x 2
Practice Pants: $14
Game Pants: $30-$80
Girdle with 5 pads: $25-$65
Knee pads: $6
Average would be about $500 to $1,000 per player. That does not include practice apparel (tee shirt shorts @ $30 per set), sweat suits for cold weather @ $50/set, running shoes, etc. And, of course, field equipment like goal post pads, blocking dummies & shields, lineman sleds, down box & chain set, field pylons, paint, paint stencils, etc. etc. etc. It also does not include the price for game officials, travel, additional insurance coverage, trainers, etc. Our recommendation is that you get an actual cost from your local sporting goods supplier as well as talk with a neighboring school that has 11-man football to get a realistic estimate to what it will cost to have an 8-man football team.
4. Can I start an 8-man football team for the 2014 football season in preparation for the 2015-16 school year? For the 2014-15 school year, Class C and B schools that do not currently have 8-man football may participate in 8-man football on a sub-varsity level. This will be considered club football and not sanctioned in any way by the LHSAA. Participation in 8-man football in 2014-15 shall not affect a school’s current classification. Note: This option does not apply to a Class 1A school.
5. Why are we only going to play an 8 game regular season? The shorter season is better for the smaller school that naturally would have fewer athletes and would allow those schools to start the basketball season in a traditional time period prior to the those schools that play 11-man football.
6. If I am a Class 1A school currently playing football and have to drop the sport due to a lack of players, how does this affect my ability to participate in 8-man football for the 2015-16 school year? Dropping 11-man football in 2014 would not affect your ability to add 8-man football in 2015 but if there were not enough school to sign up for 8-man the current 2-year sit out rule for 11-man football would apply. Additionally, the LHSAA cannot permit an 11-man football school to drop the sport and be allowed to play 8-man football for the 2014 school year, even as a club sport.
7. If I am a Class 1A school that wishes to drop 11-man football in favor of 8-man football and we ultimately do not get the required 16 schools to sign up for 8-man football, can I still play 11-man football? If there are not a minimum of 16 schools that sign up to play 8-man football then the school could continue to play 11-man football. This will be addressed on the football declaration sheet that each school signs and returns to the LHSAA regarding participation in the sport of 11-man football.
Dates of Football Rules Clinics
The 8-man football Q&A with Keith Alexander will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. prior to the Football Rules Clinic at 7:00 p.m.
- Monday, August 11, 2014 @ Ruston High School Auditorium
- Tuesday, August 12, 2014 @ Pineville High School Cafeteria
- Wednesday, August 13, 2014 @ Jennings High School Cafeteria
- Monday, August 18, 2014 @ LHSAA Office
- Tuesday, August 19, 2014 @ East Jefferson High School Auditorium