Proposal to change 2A football in next cycle passes

Glenn Parrish
Booneville Democrat

When the conference races for football begin, members of the 2A-7 know they are in the playoffs.

That’s because there are only five member schools in the league.

With six schools in their leagues, schools in the 2A-8, 2A-6, 2A-5, and 2A-3 need only avoid last place to reach the postseason.

Meanwhile, the 2A-4, which includes Magazine and is spread from Mountainburg to Yellville-Summit to Conway, has eight schools vying for its five spots.

By a 236-10 vote, Arkansas Activities Association members schools last week adopted a proposal that will address the obvious discrepancies.

As has been the case for many cycles, when the 2022 cycle begins, after there have been 16 7A, 16 6A, 32 5A, 48 4A, and 48 3A teams slotted, the remaining teams playing football will make up 2A.

New to the mix however is that the number of conferences, rather than preset at six, will depend upon the number the teams playing 11-man football.

The number of playoff teams will also be determined based upon the participation numbers.

As it stands this year, only seven of the 37 2A football schools will be left out of the postseason, and perhaps less in 2021 depending upon the number of schools who drop the 11-man for the 8-man game.

That happened in Magazine’s 2A-4 conference in each of the last two seasons dropping it from eight to six schools — after the cycle was set.

Magazine head coach Ryan Chambers was all for the proposal as opposed to, for example, dividing the remaining teams after 4A is set, into two more classifications.

“I didn’t want anything that would push some of those bottom 3A teams to 2A,” said Chambers. “What is left in 2A is going to get to play 2A football. What’s going to change every year is going to be the number of teams make the playoff.

“They may change to where every conference gets four teams into the playoffs instead of one conference getting every team in.”

In other matters, AAA member schools approved a 35-second shot clock for senior high basketball beginning also with the 2022 cycle. That vote was 183-69.