The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association announced, on Friday, the results of an appeal made by Calvert Hall and Loyola over the new playoff system announced last month for MIAA A Conference football.
The original plan called for a round-robin regular season schedule among all seven league teams, which now includes Archbishop Spalding, followed by a four team playoff and championship game. It would mark the first playoff system in the A Confernce since the MIAA was formed in 1995. That plan would have seen Calvert Hall and Loyola meet in the regular season, prior to their annual Thanksgiving Day clash. The change in tradition angered alumni at both schools and led to an appeal which was heard by a panel of MIAA school heads.
The panel had authority to uphold the plan, strike it down all together, or come up with an alternate solution. They elected the third option.
Under the new plan, Calvert Hall and Loyola will each play a five game regular season league schedule, playing every other conference team other than themselves. The five remaining teams will play a six game schedule.
Each team in the league will be awarded three points for a win and one point for each win by every team it defeated. Calvert Hall and Loyola will have their total points divided by five to determine an average point level for their rankings in the standings. All other teams will have their point totals divided by six. In the end the four teams with the highest point averages will qualify for the league semifinals.
Teams will be seeded for the playoffs based on their average points totals, but the seedings will be shuffled to guarantee that Calvert Hall and Loyola cannot meet in the semifinal round. If both teams advance to the championship game, the Turkey Bowl will serve as the title game.
“This a good result,” said MIAA Executive Director Rick Diggs. “It preserves the tradition of the Turkey Bowl, but allows for a playoff system in the A Conference, which has been a goal for a long time.”
If the Turkey Bowl does not serve as the championship game, Calvert Hall and Loyola will still meet on Thanksgiving Day, while the championship game will be played the previous Saturday.