Play-in round added for OSSAA football playoffs

Tom Firme
Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association announced on Tuesday a play-in round will be instituted for the 2020 football playoffs. That will allow all football teams that desire and are able to participate in the playoffs.
OSSAA Associate Director Mike Whaley said this is being done because of cancellations of games related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he said he hopes "this is a once-in-a-lifetime scenario."
The play-in round would be the week of Nov. 13 (what would normally be the first week of the playoffs). Districts that have been flagged for canceling games can choose a ranking process that begins the weekend of Oct. 23 for final district places. To opt out of the playoffs, a team must notify the district chairman by 1 p.m. on Nov. 7.
The higher seed will be the home team in the play-in round. Following rounds will use the OSSAA manual for home field advantage. A team that cannot play a game in the playoffs due to a situation related to COVID-19 will be eliminated. The team's opponent from the preceding round will advance in its place. If the preceding opponent declines the opportunity to advance or there is no preceding foe, then the remaining team advances. The OSSAA will handle issues related to COVID-19 that may affect a state championship.
Teams that do not complete 10 games by Week 10 may finish by the date of the state championship in their class. State championships will be the weekend of Dec. 4-5 for Class 6A, Dec. 11-12 for Class 3A, 4A, 5A and C and Dec. 18-19 for Class 2A, A and B.