The Florida High School Athletic Association is poised to change its playoff format for all classifications as early as the 2017 season.

After getting the endorsement of the FHSAA Athletic Director’s Advisory Committee earlier this month and previously passing through the Football Coaches Advisory Committee, the new policy could be implemented after a final vote by the FHSAA Board of Directors later this month in Gainesville.

Under the new rule, which was approved by the AD advisory committee by an 11-2 vote on Sept. 7, district play in Classes 1A though 4A would be eliminated and all schools would be assigned to one of four regions in each classification. Classes 5A through Class 8A would continue on with district play, but district runners up would not be guaranteed a postseason berth.

The current playoff format has been in place since 1993.

Using the new playoff proposal, teams in all classifications would earn points based on their opponents’ record and how they perform during the season. The new format is designed to reward winning and strength of schedule.

Classes 1A through 4A would be divided into four regions, as they are now, with 16 teams in each classification advancing to the postseason. Since there would be no district games, each team would be responsible for their own schedule and would be required to play at least eight games each season.

In Classes 5A though 8A, district champions would earn automatic berths. However, instead of each district runner-up automatically advancing to the postseason, four wild card teams from each region would move on, for a total of 32 playoff teams.

District champions would be seeded based on season points and the higher seed would always host playoff games.

“At this point, it’s up to the board of directors to implement the plan or reject it,” said FHSAA spokesman Kyle Niblett.

The FHSAA Board of Directors is scheduled to meet on Monday in Gainesville and are expected to vote on the proposal. If it is approved, the FHSAA would likely announce tentative regions and districts in December.

After a period in which schools could appeal, the FHSAA would release its final regions and districts in January.

FHSAA Football Administrator Frank Beasley put together the new plan, which is modeled after a similar system in Nebraska. It is designed to use each team’s strength of schedule to determine postseason participants.

The new plan could work to eliminate teams with losing records from the playoffs. Last season, for example, 16 schools reached the playoffs with losing records, while 35 programs with records of .500 or better missed out.

Niblett said some schools that have become independent programs — not eligible to compete for a state championship — would rejoin the FHSAA state playoffs if the new format goes into effect. More than 70 schools, including First Academy of Leesburg and Mount Dora Christian Academy, are independents.

FHSAA officials said the proposed playoff system will impact football only and all other sports will retain their current postseason format.