AHSAA revises baseball, softball postseason format starting in 2023

Published 9:15 am Tuesday, April 19, 2022

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The Alabama High School Athletic Association state playoffs will have a new look beginning in 2023 as baseball changes from area to region play and softball eliminates area tournaments.

The AHSAA’s Central Board of Control approved a number of other changes at its meeting in Montgomery on Wednesday, April 13. Soccer and bowling also had adjustments made.

With the change, the top four teams from each region in baseball will advance to the state playoffs in 2023. The current format, which sends the top two area teams to the playoffs, will remain in effect for 2022.

The top four teams in the final region standings in softball will advance to the regional tournament in 2023. Softball teams currently play each area opponent once at home and once on the road for seeding at the area tournament. Once the tournament is complete, both the winner and runner-up advance to the regional tournament.

Soccer will also revert to competition in regions with the top four teams advancing to the state playoffs beginning with the 2023 season. Previously, the top two teams from each area advanced, and that format will not change this year.

The board also approved an NFHS recommendation for football to extend team boxes on the sidelines from each 20-yard-line. Previously, the team box extended from the 25-yard-lines.

In other action, Pike Liberal Arts, a private school based in Troy, was approved for membership in the AHSAA. The school’s football team will not be eligible for the playoffs until 2024 due to the timing of the school’s application. PLA’s other sports programs will be allowed to compete in the playoffs beginning next year.