Coaches react to UIL rules changes

The times, they are a changing. It wasn't long ago only one team, the district champion, made the playoffs each year. Now starting with the 2013 school year four teams will make the tournament for each sport from each 2A and 3A district.

Currently only three teams make the playoffs and some coaches worry about what adding that extra team will do.

"Some people just say you water it down and I think there is a case for that argument," said Rusk Head Coach Todd Patton. "There is some positive to making the playoffs but certainly you don't want to go into the first round and just get humiliated."

The concern with the new rule is in smaller districts like around East Texas, where there are only four, five or six teams in a district. The new rule will mean more teams in those districts will get into the playoff, than miss out.

"It just becomes a numbers game," said Kilgore Athletic Director Mike Wood. "When you have five teams in a district and four of them make the playoffs it does water it down a bit."

"It comes down to me on how many teams are in the district," said Henderson Athletic Director Dickey Meeks. "Four out of five to me is not a good. If you have a bigger district I think it is fine."

Meanwhile at the 1A level the rules remain the same. Alto Yellowjackets Athletic Director Keith Gardner hopes it stays that way.

"I like our current system there is nothing wrong with it," said Gardner. "I don't think we need four teams representing any one district. I think it is watered down a little bit when you get some districts that have four or five in a district and all but one makes it."

The other changes today include making a 3A level for Soccer and Tennis. As well as reclassifying to include a class 6A. But everyone would basically move up a level. For example, Lufkin would most likely be 6A, Nacogdoches 5A, all the way down to Apple Springs, where 6-man would become class 1A, all starting with district realignment in 2014.

Here is the full list from the UIL:

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) the governing body for high school sports in Texas has passed new rules for upcoming seasons.

1st: They announced that a 4th playoff team will be added in all sports in Class 3A/2A, beginning in the 2013 season.

2nd: For high school football all 10 championship games will be played on the same weekend at the same site, also beginning in the 2013 season.

3rd: Beginning with the 2014 realignment, a class 3A has been developed for soccer. (Currently teams plays in either 4A/5A classification).

4th: Beginning with the 2014 realignment, a class 6A has been created. However, it will be more of a "re-labeling" instead of a new classification.

In 2014, Six-Man will be called Class 1A, Class 1A will be called Class 2A, all the way up the ladder where current Class 5A will called 6A.

All of the changes are subject to approval by the Commissioner of Education.

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