High school football season is an exciting time for players, coaches, and fans alike. As regionals wrap up, the next big question is: what comes next? If you’re looking for a detailed breakdown of the playoffs and championships that happen after regionals, you’ve come to the right place.

In short, after regionals, top teams advance to the state quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals to determine the state champion. But there’s more to it than that simple answer. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the playoffs, championship games, and final rankings that come after the regional tournaments in high school football.


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The Basics of High School Football Regionals

In high school football, regionals refer to a phase in the postseason where teams compete against each other to advance further in the tournament. This stage is crucial as it determines which teams will move on to the next round and get a chance to compete for the state championship.

Understanding the basics of high school football regionals is essential for players, coaches, and fans alike.

Meaning of Regionals

Regionals in high school football is a term used to describe a specific level of competition within a state or a designated geographical area. Each state has its own system for dividing teams into regions based on factors such as school size, geographical location, or competitive balance.

The purpose of regionals is to create a fair and competitive environment where teams from various schools within a region can face off against each other.

When Do Regionals Occur?

The timing of regionals in high school football may vary depending on the state and the specific schedule set by the governing athletic association. Generally, regionals take place after the regular season and the district playoffs.

It is typically the third phase of the postseason, following district play and preceding the state playoffs.

How Teams Qualify for Regionals

The qualification process for regionals in high school football can differ from state to state. In some states, teams qualify based on their performance during the regular season, while in others, they must go through district playoffs to secure a spot in regionals.

The number of teams advancing to regionals can also vary, with some regions allowing multiple teams from each district to move forward, while others only permit one team.

It is important for teams to perform well during the regular season and district playoffs to increase their chances of qualifying for regionals. Coaches and players need to develop effective strategies, analyze opponents, and give their best performance on the field.

Regionals provide an opportunity for teams to showcase their skills and compete against the best in their region.

To get a better understanding of how regionals work in your specific state, it is recommended to refer to the official website of your state’s high school athletic association. They will provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the qualification process, scheduling, and other relevant details.


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What Happens After Regionals in High School Football

After the Regionals in high school football, the competition intensifies as teams move closer to the ultimate goal of winning the state championship. Here is a detailed guide on what happens next:

State Quarterfinals

The State Quarterfinals are the next stage after Regionals. At this point, only eight teams remain in the hunt for the state title. These teams have proven themselves by winning their respective regional championships, showcasing their skills and determination on the field.

The State Quarterfinals are usually held at neutral sites, providing an equal playing field for all teams involved.

During this stage, the level of competition reaches new heights, as each team fights tooth and nail to secure a spot in the State Semifinals. The games are intense, and the stakes are high, as the winners inch closer to their dream of becoming state champions.

State Semifinals

Once the State Quarterfinals are concluded, four teams emerge as the victors and advance to the State Semifinals. These teams have shown exceptional skill, teamwork, and perseverance, making it through the grueling competition so far.

The State Semifinals are a crucial step towards the state championship, with the winners earning a coveted spot in the final game.

The State Semifinals are often held at larger venues, allowing for more fans to witness the thrilling matchups. The atmosphere is electric, as the remaining teams battle it out on the field, leaving everything they have in pursuit of victory.

The State Semifinals are a true test of a team’s capabilities and mental fortitude.

State Championships

The State Championships mark the pinnacle of high school football in each state. The two teams that emerge victorious from the State Semifinals face off in a highly anticipated showdown for the state title.

The championship game is usually held at a prestigious stadium, attracting a large audience of passionate fans and supporters.

The State Championships are a culmination of months of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. The teams competing in this stage have proven themselves to be the best in their state, displaying exceptional skills, strategy, and determination throughout the season.

The championship game is a spectacle, showcasing the best of high school football and providing an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

National Rankings

While winning the state championship is the ultimate goal for high school football teams, some exceptional performances may also earn them recognition on a national level. Various organizations and media outlets release national rankings, which highlight the top high school football teams in the country.

These rankings take into account factors such as win-loss records, strength of schedule, and overall performance. Being ranked nationally is a great achievement, as it signifies that a team has excelled not only within their state but also in comparison to teams across the country.

High school football teams that achieve national rankings often receive attention from college recruiters and media coverage, propelling their players and program to new heights. It is a testament to the hard work and talent of the team and coaching staff.


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Key Differences By State

Playoff Formats

When it comes to high school football playoffs, each state has its own unique format. Some states follow a traditional bracket-style playoff system, where teams compete in a single-elimination tournament.

Other states use a point system, where teams earn points throughout the regular season based on wins, losses, and strength of schedule. These points determine playoff seedings and matchups.

For example, in Texas, the state with one of the most competitive high school football scenes, teams compete in a single-elimination playoff format, with four separate divisions based on school size. In contrast, states like California and Florida use a point system to determine playoff teams.

Number of Championships

The number of championships awarded in high school football varies from state to state. Some states have a long-standing tradition of crowning a single state champion in each division or classification. Other states may have multiple champions, either based on regions or divisions within the state.

For instance, in Ohio, there are seven divisions, and each division crowns a single state champion. In contrast, states like Georgia and Alabama have multiple classifications, and each classification crowns a state champion.

It’s worth noting that the number of championships won by a school or team is often a point of pride and can contribute to their overall reputation in the high school football community.

Championship Venues

The venues for high school football championships also differ from state to state. Some states hold their championship games at neutral sites, such as college stadiums or large high school stadiums. This allows for a larger capacity and a more exciting atmosphere for players and fans alike.

Other states choose to hold their championship games at the home stadium of one of the participating teams. This can create a more intimate and hometown feel for the game, but may limit the number of spectators who can attend.

For example, in Pennsylvania, the state championship games are held at Cumberland Valley, a neutral site that can accommodate a large crowd. In contrast, states like Texas and Florida rotate the championship games between different venues each year.

It’s important to note that the specific details of high school football playoffs, number of championships, and championship venues can vary even within a state, as individual school districts and conferences may have their own unique rules and traditions.


Regionals mark an exciting point in the high school football season when teams battle it out for the chance to advance to state championships. After regionals wrap up, top teams move on to quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals at the state level.

The playoffs culminate with state title games, usually in early December. Nationwide rankings also come out at the end of the season to determine rankings beyond individual states. With this guide, you now understand the full journey from regionals to state championships and final national rankings in high school football.

Best of luck to your favorite teams as they embark on the playoff road ahead!

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