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Re: classifications

Postby Red4life » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:32 am

With the increased number of schools participating in 8-man football, having three classifications (A, B, C) of 11-man football does make sense. What was learned this fall was that some of the best matches have been the cross-over games (between classes), and those should be maintained.

Locally, Sanford's historic rivalry with Biddeford was the game that generated the most interest and yielded the electric atmosphere that it always has. I would hope that some of these match-ups can be put into a protected status (assuming both schools agree) so that they don't fall by the wayside every time schools get shuffled from one classification to another. A match-up that was lost in this fall's shuffle was Sanford vs. Massabesic; one school had their own feelings about discontinuing this series for the time being and agreed to a preseason exhibition instead, yet in hindsight this fall a more typical late regular season game would have been a thriller. The "point system" to determine standings allows these crossover series to continue.
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Re: classifications

Postby MBRRadio » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:22 pm

Mountain Valley nearing move to eight-man football after public meeting:
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Re: classifications

Postby footballphan » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:27 am

I’m wondering if this 8 man experiment might actually be hurting the sport in Maine. I never would have expected it, but all this movement makes me wonder.

In what year will there be more 8 man teams than 11 man teams? I think it’s far sooner than we all think possible!
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Re: classifications

Postby wmtwsportsprod » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:35 pm

how is that hurting the sport? Teams still have football if not for 8 man they may not...and that would be hurting the sport more
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Re: classifications

Postby DCFTBL » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:49 pm

I am at a loss as to why people continue to think that 8 man football is not good for the sport. It is a viable option for teams struggling with numbers and for those of you that think it is not football you need to attend an 8 man game. I have heard all the arguments from it doesn't give lineman a chance to my son will not get recruited by colleges. Non are true! For those of you that are having a hard time getting your head around the concept attend a game this fall. You won't regret it!
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Re: classifications

Postby footballphan » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:57 pm

wmtwsportsprod wrote:how is that hurting the sport? Teams still have football if not for 8 man they may not...and that would be hurting the sport more

I think it needs to play out a bit more but I thought the intention of 8 man was to give teams an opportunity to get numbers back up to compete in 11 man again one day.

It seems to me the trend right now is the teams that aren’t winning much in 11 man are viewing this as a new opportunity to maybe have more success in a different venue. Not all of them...some no doubt have a dramatic lack of numbers and have no alternative. But I feel like in year two we’re seeing teams drop down that have had some success in recent history but are struggling currently and see this as a way out of that struggle.

I could be completely wrong, but that’s how I see it from afar. I can think of many teams in the last 25 years that would have dropped to 8 man but fought through and are now successful. MCI immediately comes to mind. When I first saw them play they had zero chance of winning a game. Now look at them. I know Cony was awful for a five year period and had little talent to compete in PTC A North. I watched their home games. It was terrible. They’ve had their best decade ever in the last 10 years.

I just hope teams are moving for the right reasons. I think year one was a big success and has led teams down that path, perhaps to the detriment of 11 man football. Time will tell. That’s my opinion for now.

And to answer you, it’s not a knock on 8 man. I saw some highlights and it looks great. You’re right. It’s football! I love that. But I wonder about the future of the sport as more and more teams make the drop down. I hope I’m wrong and I very well could be.
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Re: classifications

Postby DCFTBL » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:27 pm

I do believe there needs to be a cap on roster size at 25. Programs that have 30 or more players shouldn't be playing 8 man. A roster cap will deter those that may be moving for the wrong reasons and keep the teams that really do need to play 8 man in competitive situations.
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Re: classifications

Postby thedude » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:20 pm

My take on 8 man is this. It has become clear in the last twenty years that many high schools in the state of Maine want to have football. We went from three classes to four, and numbers were up and life was good. Now participation is slipping (for a variety of reasons), but the schools, some steeped with incredible tradition, want to hold on to the sport for obvious reasons. If 8 man allows them to stay in the world of football, or even move into football for the first time, I say so be it, even if every team in the state went to 8 man. Consider this, Montana, which has a population of right around 1million (around 300k less than Maine), has 13 teams in AA, 20 in A, 27 in B, and 41 in 8 man football. The significance of this is that if a school needs to go 8 man, it needs to go to 8 man. Nebraska has 113 teams in 8 man, and Kansas has 110. If a school is too small to support 11 man, they need to do something else. Maine has a lot of small schools. It's something we need to accept. I'm happy with the choices schools are making. As long as kids are playing football, that's most important thing to me. Dirigo and Orono should have played 8 man last year. Those kids could have had meaningful seasons. Food for thought.

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Re: classifications

Postby TheMike » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:01 pm

IMHO 8-man football is an excellent short term solution to the problems we're having today, that of too many blowouts of weak teams and declining interest in football in general. I'm of the belief that those two issues are a chicken-and-egg thing, but that's beside the point for now. In short, here's why I don't see a mix of 11-man and 8-man as a good long term solution.

Allowing teams to opt for 8-man and then dividing up the remaining 11-man teams into classes works well...for the very immediate future. However, this will crowd some of the A schools down into B and some of the B schools down into C. When that happens the teams at the low end of the food chain in each new class won't be able to compete with the teams at the top - so what will they do? Precedent says they'll move to 8-man where they can be more competitive.
My solution to that would be to not let a team go to 8-man until they've proven that they can't compete in the next class down. I still fail to understand why a team that's played (unsuccessfully) in Class B or Class C is allowed to move directly to 8-man without proving that they can't compete in the next lower class.

This probably won't happen in my lifetime but I do foresee a steady migration of teams into 8-man until we see 11-man being a thing of the past and.. whoops!... we have the same problems with 8-man that we currently have with 11-man of some teams not being able to compete within their enrollment.

All of that having been said and using my own bailiwick, Class D North, here's my "solution". There are four teams in D North that are competitive on a yearly basis and these teams are consistently dressing more than 30 players. Based on that one could say that 30 is the cutoff point and any team dressing fewer than 30 players could participate in 8-man, but only after they've proven they can't compete in Class D.

Now here's the part I don't like but could be viable if the coaching staffs could be trusted to operate ethically - let the average number of players on the team during the previous two-year cycle dictate whether a team can go to 8-man. However... here's what I don't like about it: I wouldn't want any kids cut from a team because the coach feels he has to keep his team below 30 players just because the school wants to stay in 8-man. But it's something to think about.

As I like to say, there are no easy solutions. If there were they'd be in use by now. What you have here is JMHO.
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Re: classifications

Postby interloper » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:39 pm

There are many states that have both 11 man and 8 man football teams and they don't affect each other. Some state even offer 6 man football. Maine is in its infancy with the two programs and there will some growing pains along the way. To be honest I think I would rather see a school go to 8 man than co-op with another school to keep 11 man football. On another note I do think if we do see a lot more schools go to 8 man we will start having more blowouts in this sport as well.
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