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2020 MHSAA Football Playoff Pairings

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Oct. 25 – Here are the pairings for the 2020 MHSAA Football Playoffs, which begin Oct. 29-31 with District First Round games in the 11-Player Playoffs and Regional First Round Games in the 8-Player Playoffs.

For the first time this season, all 11-player teams were divided into eight divisions before play began. Because of the shortened 2020 regular season due to COVID-19, all 11-player teams were then divided into Districts of up to eight teams each, then paired into four regions. For 8-player, teams also were divided into two divisions before the start of play this fall, and the top 32 teams in each division based on playoff-point average were selected to a postseason field of 64 teams, which were then divided into four regions of eight teams apiece.

Pairings for the first four weeks of the tournament are based on regular-season playoff point averages, with the highest-ranked team hosting, regardless of the distance between the two schools. For District First Round and Regional First Round play, the top-seeded team in each bracket will host the eighth-seeded team; and the second-seeded team will host the seventh-seeded team, etc. 

District Semifinals for 11-player and Regional Semifinals for 8-player will follow during the weekend of Nov. 6-7, and the weekend of Nov. 13-14 will have District Finals in the 11-Player Playoffs and Regional Finals in the 8-Player Playoffs. Both rounds will be played at the site of the highest-ranked team which was victorious in the previous round of play.

Regional Finals in the 11-Player Playoffs will take place Nov. 20-21, at the site of the highest-ranked team that was victorious in District Final play. The 8-Player Playoff Semifinals will take place on Nov. 20-21, pairing the winners of Region 1 vs. Region 2 and the winners of Region 3 vs. Region 4, at the sites of the highest-ranked team.

Semifinal games in the 11-Player Playoffs will take place Nov. 27-28, pairing the winners of Region 1 vs. Region 2 and the winners of Region 3 vs. Region 4. Highest-ranked teams will host unless participating teams are 200 or more miles apart; in those cases the MHSAA will assign the game at a prearranged site if one can be secured in a reasonable location. 

All playoff tickets will be sold online only via GoFan at https://gofan.co/ to provide for a cashless and contactless purchasing process that also allows for contact tracing. Tickets for single-session Pre-District, District and Regional games are $6. Single-session Semifinal tickets are $8. A per-ticket convenience fee will be applied.

The 8-Player Finals will take place Nov. 27-28, and the 11-Player Finals will be played Dec. 4-5. An announcement on where those Finals will be played, and including additional spectator information, will be forthcoming.

A total of 10 8-player teams did not qualify for the MHSAA Playoffs, and they are allowed to schedule one more game, against another of the non-qualifier group, to be played this upcoming week. Four schools with enrollments too large to qualify for the 8-player postseason – Bridgman, Vandercook Lake, Vermontville Maple Valley and Concord – will play a two-round playoff over the next two weeks to conclude their seasons. That playoff is not sponsored by the MHSAA but allowed because of the shortened schedule.

A total of nine 11-player teams and seven 8-player teams that began this season withdrew from participation in the MHSAA Playoffs. Eight tie-breakers were necessary to determine bracket placement in 11-player; the first tie-breaker of head-to-head winner was used once, the second tie-breaker of opponents’ winning percentage was used five times, and the third tie-breaker – coin flip – was employed for two games. 

Below are some of the schools from our area and their pairings. The rest can be found on the MHSAA website at https://www.mhsaa.com/News/Press-Releases/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/9361/2020-MHSAA-Football-Playoff-Pairings

11-Player Pairings




Holland West Ottawa (0-5) 16.500 at Rockford (4-0) 69.500

East Kentwood (2-3) 34.667 at Hudsonville (4-2) 51.567

Grand Haven (0-6) 19.700 at Grandville (5-1) 62.067

Grand Rapids Union (1-5) 25.333 at Traverse City West (5-1) 53.167




Greenville (0-5) 10.667 at Muskegon (5-1) 58.333

Petoskey (2-4) 32.833 at Cedar Springs (4-2) 44.167

Gaylord (1-5) 23.000 at Mount Pleasant (5-1) 57.333

Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (2-4) 31.367 at Marquette (5-1) 45.167




Fremont (2-4) 23.833 at Spring Lake (4-2) 42.667

Ada Forest Hills Eastern (3-3) 35.000 at Allendale (3-3) 35.167

Fruitport (2-4) 25.833 at Whitehall (5-1) 38.667

Coopersville (2-4) 26.833 at Sparta (4-2) 36.833

Center Line (2-4) 24.667 at Harper Woods Chandler Park (3-3) 26.500

Hazel Park (1-5) 18.167 at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (5-1) 48.000

Detroit Henry Ford (3-3) 24.500 at Detroit Country Day (3-2) 43.500


Yale (0-6) 12.333 at North Branch (6-0) 56.667

Imlay City (4-2) 40.167 at Croswell-Lexington (5-1) 47.000

St Clair (1-5) 23.500 at Ortonville Brandon (5-1) 51.167

Armada (3-3) 36.000 at Goodrich (5-1) 48.667




Howard City Tri County (2-4) 21.967 at Central Montcalm (4-2) 36.800

Grant (2-3) 25.333 at Muskegon Orchard View (2-4) 27.000

Remus Chippewa Hills (2-4) 23.500 at Muskegon Oakridge (4-2) 33.333

Newaygo (2-4) 24.100 at Big Rapids (3-3) 30.433




Shelby (0-6) 9.333 at Muskegon Catholic Central (6-0) 51.333

Harrison (4-2) 31.933 at Sanford Meridian (4-2) 33.333

Hart (1-5) 13.833 at Montague (6-0) 46.333

Kent City (5-1) 30.000 at Clare (6-0) 44.767

St Charles (4-2) 21.567 at Sandusky (6-0) 35.000 

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Be the referee


By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA


Be the Referee is a weekly message from the Michigan High School Athletics Association that is designed to help educate people on the rules in different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Tournament Selection 

Today we are going to talk about how officials are selected for the MHSAA Football Playoffs. Just as the best teams advance in the tournament week after week, the best officiating crews advance in the tournament in much the same way.

For a crew to be eligible for assignment, many requirements have to be met prior to the season. Verification that the crew has worked a full schedule, making sure that the crew has completed the annual rules meeting, as well as a football rules test. Much weight is given to ratings — each crew is rated by schools on a 1-5 scale following each game as well as observation reports where officiating experts go out and either watch crews work live or on video in making sure that the best crews advance throughout the tournament.


Posted in SportsComments Off on Be the referee

Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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