There are major changes coming to football in Missouri this fall. The Missouri State High School Activities Association announced new classification rules for 11-man football.
The biggest changes come in Class 6 and Class 1. In Class 6 the number of teams will increase from 32 to 42. Class 6 had been at 32 teams since it was introduced in 2002. This change will make the classification go from four districts to eight matching the other five 11-man classes. One area school that could be affected is Oak Park that would possibly move up to Class 6 this fall.
This change will bring the Class 6 postseason schedule in line with all other classes. The state championship game will be played the same weekend as the other classes.
In Class 1 the number will be 36 schools, but it could expand if schools return from 8-man or new schools are added under the new threshold. Based on current numbers two-time defending Class 1 champ East Buchanan would move up to class 2. Also, Class 1 runner-up Adrian could be on the line and move up to Class 2.
Classes 2-5 will have the remaining schools spread out evenly with the current number projected to be 56 in each class.
One benefit of this new classification system is all No. 1 seeds will get a bye eliminating the 1 vs. 8 that produces dozens of non-competitive games. Many No. 2 seeds will also get a bye making the first round of the postseason more competitive.
It will be interesting to see where teams fall when classifications and districts are announced in August.