LUBBOCK, TX – Today, Senator Charles Perry filed SB 237 to limit the number of teams advancing to the playoffs from each University Interscholastic League (UIL) district to two teams.
"Current UIL rules allow 50%-74% of football teams to make the playoffs," said Senator Charles Perry. "We have truly watered down competition to the point that 0-10 and 1-9 teams are able to make the playoffs in some districts."
Earlier this year, a school in Houston made Texas history by becoming the first winless team to advance to the playoffs.
"This not only devalues the hard work of the first and second place teams in a district, but it costs our school districts thousands of dollars that could be spent in the classroom," continued Perry. "The cost is especially high in rural areas. Some schools in my district are spending an upwards of $8,000 per playoff game."
Costs often go beyond the football team to include the band, cheerleaders and other support organizations. Depending on the distance traveled costs can include travel, food and lodging.
56% of the 1,209 Texas high school football teams made it to the playoffs this last year. Under Perry's bill, 384 teams would have still been playoff eligible or roughly 32%.
"I have fond memories of playing high school football. My coaches served as role models, teaching me valuable life lessons and instilling in me a desire to succeed," Perry added. "It is my hope that this bill will help us celebrate triumph, give school districts more flexibility with their budgets and reduce the burden on families during the holiday season."
Due to how playoff systems are structured, Perry's bill would only affect traditional team sports such as football, baseball, volleyball and basketball.