By now most schools have already laid out their 2021 schedules or nearly all of them and uncertainty about playing the entire schedule is still there, although I would postulate that if ANY state is likely to try to play a full schedule it’s ours.
For those who have not and want to try this, please go ahead and think if it is possible to adapt this for 2021 by changing game dates.
One thing that made me think about a different approach was last year’s District in the northern part of the state that stretched for about 330 miles and that is true again this upcoming year:
Niceville to Ocala is approximately 330 miles apart. That’s a LOT of travel for a District game, never mind if one or the other is hosting District Playoffs.
So what might be a good idea to make this easier on the kids, teams, parents, and administrators?
This is a 7-district group, meaning that each team plays 6 games for that district schedule.
How about playing 6 Saturday tripleheaders at one location, with each school hosting once (each 7 years a school wouldn’t host)? 6 of the 7 teams travel to a neutral location (actually one of the 6 does host so make that 5 teams traveling each weekend).
For example, on Saturday you get:
Buchholz vs Chiles, Niceville vs Gainesville, and Forest vs Leon with Lincoln sitting out that weekend.
That’s a nice tripleheader for local fans to travel to. The referee costs are less because you could have a ref work two games (they are very used to that in the summer club circuit and this cuts down on travel expense). The field is used for one day instead of 3 so the high school cost is lower. Food trucks could be allowed to encourage players and fans to stick around for a while. It could even be designed as a fundraiser for a charity.
What’s the downside? Maybe that it’s Saturdays? Parents needing to commit to 6 weeks of it?
Frankly, it would even help me if Districts around the state did this. I could cover 6 teams in one day instead of 2 . . . more coverage and ‘pub’ for the players! Seeing teams I have never seen play a high school game before. Maybe even some broadcast opportunities on YouTube via a streaming option?
Coaches and Administrators . . . think it through for 2022 even if it isn’t feasible for the upcoming year!