Posted: 7:12 am Monday, November 9th, 2009

First-round football playoff match-ups set 

By Jason Lieser

Other than a few three-way tie-breakers scheduled for Monday night, the first-round match-ups for the state football playoffs have been determined.

All classifications begin the post-season the week of Friday, Nov. 20, though some schools could play those games the day before or after.

District champions host the first round against district runner-ups. According to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s football manual, until the state semifinals, district winners always have home field against runner-ups. For a full explanation of how home field is determined throughout the playoffs, scroll to the bottom of this entry.

The area will have 19 playoff teams once District 8-6A is resolved. The maximum number of local teams that could have qualified was 28.

Here are the first-round match-ups for teams in our area (* denotes teams that automatically would host a second-round game if they win):

Class 6A
Vero Beach at Boca Raton*
Seminole Ridge at Treasure Coast

Class 5A
Lauderdale Lakes-Boyd Anderson at West Boca Raton*
Wellington at Pompano Beach-Ely
Melbourne at Santaluces
Royal Palm Beach at Palm Bay-Bayside*

Class 4A
Hollywood Hills at Dwyer
Palm Beach Lakes at Fort Lauderdale-Stranahan*
Melbourne-Palm Bay at Fort Pierce Central*
South Fork at New Smyrna Beach

Class 3A
Fort Pierce Westwood at Fort Lauderdale-Archbishop McCarthy
Olympic Heights at Merritt Island*

Class 2A
Fort Lauderdale-Cardinal Gibbons at Glades Central*
Boynton Beach at Plantation-American Heritage

Class 2B
Pahokee at Hollywood-Chaminade
[Blue Devils guaranteed going on the road for second round if they win, regardless of opponent]

Class 1A
Miami-Westminster Christian at American Heritage*

Class 1B
Hollywood-Sheridan Hills at Jupiter Christian* (game at Port St. Lucie High)
Glades Day at Miami MacArthur North

Explanation of home-field system

After the first round, if two district winners or two runner-ups face each other, the home team is determined this way:

1. Regional semifinals:

For Classes 4A and 6A, the home team is the school on the lower line of the bracket. The only exception to that is if the school on the lower line was home the previous round and the school on the upper line had to travel. Then the school on the upper line gets the home game.

For Classes 3A and 5A, the home team is the school on the upper line of the bracket. The only exception to that is if the school on the upper line was home the previous round and the school on the lower line had to travel. Then the school on the lower line gets the home game.

For Classes 1B through 2A, the regional semifinals are the first round, so the district winners all host.

2. Regional finals:

For Classes 4A and 6A, the home team is the school on the lower line of the bracket. The only exception to that is if the school on the lower line was home for the regional quarterfinals and semifinals, while the school on the upper line traveled for either of those rounds. Then the school on the upper line gets the home game.

For Classes 3A and 5A, the home team is the school on the upper line of the bracket. The only exception to that is if the school on the upper line was home for the regional quarterfinals and semifinals, while the school on the lower line traveled for either of those rounds. Then the school on the lower line gets the home game.

For Classes 2A and 2B, the home team is the school on the lower line of the bracket. The only exception to that is if the school on the lower line was home the previous round and the school on the upper line had to travel. Then the school on the upper line gets the home game.

For Classes 1A and 1B, the home team is the school on the upper line of the bracket. The only exception to that is if the school on the upper line was home the previous round and the school on the lower line had to travel. Then the school on the lower line gets the home game.

3. State semifinals

In Classes 2B, 2A, 4A and 6A, the winners of Regions 2 and 4 are already installed as the home teams.

In Classes 5A, 3A, 1A and 1B, the winners of Regions 1 and 3 are already installed as the home teams.

State championship schedule:

All games at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Classes 1A and 1B: Friday, Dec. 11, times TBA
Classes 2A and 2B: Saturday, Dec. 12, times TBA
Classes 3A and 5A: Friday, Dec. 18, times TBA
Classes 4A and 6A: Saturday, Dec. 19, times TBA