Divisions to have a new look in ’13
New Hampshire high school football is getting a makeover.
The NHIAA — the governing body for the state’s intercollegiate athletics — decided to slim down the number of divisions in 2013. New Hampshire’s 57 teams will now be placed into three divisions instead of six.
The three divisions are still based on student enrollment.
“There’s a lot of divisions in the state right now,” new Inter- Lakes/Moultonborough head coach Jon Francis said. “I think the three divisions will be easier for all the teams. I think it’ll help restore some competitive balance.”
Laconia and Plymouth will both compete in the North Conference in Division II. Franklin, Gilford, Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough, Newfound and Winnisquam were placed in the Lakes Conference in Division III.
All three divisions consist of four conferences with each conference holding four or five teams. Division I and II are both made up of 20 teams, while Division
III has 17 teams.
Each team will play every other school in its conference once while also facing every team in one of the other conferences in its division.
“I like the idea of the smaller conferences within the divisions,” Francis said. “I think that could improve the playoff system.”
Because of the reduced number of divisions, the state will now crown three state champions instead of six.
Currently, four teams from each of the six divisions qualify for the playoffs. In 2013, eight teams — the top two squads from each conference — will make it to the postseason.
The two qualifying teams from each conference will face off in the first round of the playoffs. The winners will then be seeded for the semifinals.