Football Play-Off Game Director and Participating Team Instructions


  1. Dates / Times / Sites – The football playoffs begin on November 3, 2017.  All games will begin at 7:00 p.m., local time, unless otherwise stated (NOTE:  Schools involved in the play-off series may play their play-off game on Thursday instead of Friday.  Both teams must agree to move the game to Thursday night before it will be approved by the TSSAA Executive Director.).  In the event of bad weather, the game director may postpone the game.  It must be played the next day (Saturday).  The make-up game will also be at 7:00 p.m. unless both schools mutually agree to a different time. Game sites are predetermined by a formula which can be found in the TSSAA Football Regulations.  All championship games will be played at Tennessee Tech University.  Brackets will be posted and updated on the TSSAA State Championship Site.
  2. Uniforms – The host team in each pairing will wear dark colored jerseys.  The host team shall be designated as the home team for the scoreboard and toss of the coin. (This applies regardless of the site of the game.)
  3. Game Director / Facilities – The principal of the host school shall be the game director (If the principal of the host team is not the game director, the visiting team will be notified as soon as possible.). If facilities other than those of the host school are to be used, the game director must be approved by the TSSAA state office. It shall be the responsibility of the game director to handle all financial arrangements for the game and to make a financial report to the state office and participating teams. The host school is to hold the games in stadiums with adequate facilities and large enough to handle the crowds. Adequate facilities include but are not limited to:
    1. Separate dressing rooms for both home and visiting teams with access to restrooms and shower facilities.
    2. Separate dressing areas for officials with access to restrooms and shower facilities.
    3. A restraining fence around the field or a stadium configuration that allows for control of spectator access to playing area.  The football playing rules require a restraining line around the field.  Only statisticians, members of the press, and cheerleaders will be permitted outside the team box along the sidelines.  These designated people are to remain behind the restraining line. (Coaches will be responsible for all individuals inside their team box.)
    4. If the controls for the Electronic Clock Operator are not on the field, the host school must provide security after the game for the ECO to get back to the crew on the field at the end of the game.

    If the host school does feel that its facilities are not acceptable for a football play-off game, then it shall be the responsibility of the host school to secure adequate facilities. If additional facilities are secured, then the visiting school and TSSAA must be notified by noon on Monday preceding that week’s play-off game.

  4. Parking – The game director is responsible for arranging parking places for the participating teams, band buses, and game officials.
  5. Tickets and Passes:
    1. TSSAA will furnish tickets and press passes. (We think we are sending the host school more tickets than will be needed, however, it is suggested that the host school have some roll tickets available in case our supply is not enough.  The host school should return the financial form, check, and the School System Ticket Reconciliation Form to TSSAA within 10 days of the completion of the game. Schools must keep their unsold tickets for two weeks after the game before they are allowed to throw them away.)
    2. A supply of tickets is being forwarded to the principal of each host school from Weldon, Williams and Lick, Inc., ticket company from Fort Smith, Arkansas, by Federal Express or UPS. These tickets will reach the host school probably on Monday of the week of the playoff game, but no later than Tuesday noon of that week. These tickets are priced at $8 for adults and students. A visiting school may contact the host school in regard to securing advance tickets to sell at the visiting school. If a visiting school does secure tickets from the host school, it will be the responsibility of the visiting school principal to turn over all ticket money and all unsold tickets to the host school principal prior to the start of the playoff game. The host school may sell reserved seat tickets on the home side to people from the host school who have purchased season tickets for regular-season contests. This would apply to schools where there is seating on both sides with a section of the home side sold to season ticket holders. The tickets would be sold for $8.00 and would be sold through Wednesday or Thursday prior to the game. It would be the responsibility of the game administration to administer the reserved seat section and make certain that there is some means of identifying season ticket holders. There are no discounted pre-sale tickets. At the beginning of the school year, each school and superintendent were mailed two Championship Event Cards. In all rounds of the playoffs, this card admits ONLY ONE PERSON PER CARD. The Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association (TACA) card will also provide complimentary admittance for all rounds of the playoffs. The TACA card admits ONLY ONE PERSON PER CARD.
    3. Game director should arrange for advance sale of tickets.
    4. Band members in uniform and cheerleaders (limit of 16) in uniform will be admitted.
    5. TSSAA identification cards, officials registration cards, press cards, college coaching, and scouting cards will not be accepted as passes. Click here to see a copy of the accepted passes.
    6. Each participating school is allowed 30 complimentary tickets to their game. The game director is being instructed to contact the principal of the visiting school to determine if
      1. the visiting school is close enough that they may pick up 30 tickets, or
      2. the visiting school should provide a pass list with 30 names on it to accommodate their 30 people. Twenty-five of these tickets are for use by school officials, principals, teachers, etc. Four of these tickets are for use by band directors and chaperons, and one ticket is for use by the cheerleading coach/sponsor. Cheerleaders (limit 16) in uniform will be admitted free.
    7. Players will be admitted upon the identification of the coach.
    8. The host school shall supply ticket sellers and ticket takers.  Gates must be manned until the game is over. Proper tickets or press passes must be used until the game is completed.
  6. Game Officials -Game officials and chain crews for each round of the play-offs will be approved by the state office.  By Tuesday afternoon of each week the host school will find the official’s names and game fees due each official working the contest in the TSSAA Portal as well as the fee for the chain crew.  If additional information is needed before writing the checks, the portal will contain a phone number listed for each official.  For each round, the referee will contact the host school and confirm the assignment.  Directions to the site, location of the official’s dressing area, contact person and cell phone numbers should be shared.  If the host school chooses to have someone whose sole responsibility is to run the 25 second play clock, the individual must be a certified TSSAA official and if they are paid the fee shall come out of the host school’s share of the gross receipts.
  7. Dressing Rooms – The game director is responsible for assigning dressing rooms for teams and game officials.
  8. Seating – The game director is responsible for designating seating sections for each school.  Ushers will not be needed since all tickets are general admission.
  9. National Anthem / Half-Time Performance – The game director is responsible for making arrangements for the National Anthem to be played before the game.  The game director is also responsible for approving half-time activities by the participating school’s band.  Each band is limited to half of half-time.  This includes marching on and off the field.  The band director should contact the game director concerning arrangements for performing.  Five minutes prior to kickoff the center of the field should be cleared.
  10. Public Address Announcer / Pre-Game Announcements – The game director is responsible for selecting the P.A. Announcer. The following announcements should be used prior to each round of the play-off rounds that you host:
    1. Welcome to tonight’s ________ round of the TSSAA Football Play-Off series contest between _______________________ and _______________________. As member schools of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, they remind you that sportsmanship and the objectives of educational athletics are what set this event apart from other levels of competition. Your cooperation and support of the values promoted by these two schools is appreciated.
    2. We are pleased to welcome you this evening to (Name of School). Good sportsmanship is one of the primary purposes of educational athletics. Our student athletes recognize that judgement calls are made in good faith and that they must abide by the decisions of the officials. Spectators can support their high school interscholastic program by refraining from derogatory or demeaning remarks or cheers. We hope you will enjoy the game and support your athletes in a positive and sportsmanlike manner.
  11. Game Administrators Meeting – The game administrators meeting shall be called by the Game Director for every football play-off series game.  The meeting shall include the game administrators, both head coaches, the referee, and a representative of the security team.  Use this as a time to remind all of their role and responsibilities for the contest. The following PA Announcement shall be made during the Game Administrators Meeting:

    We call to your attention the game administrators meeting that is being held on the field. This meeting includes, the game administrator of the host school, the two head coaches, the referee and a representative of the security team. Each is reviewing their responsibilities in this game.  We ask that each spectator conduct themselves in a positive sportsmanlike manner. We encourage you to cheer for your team and thank you for your cooperation. Enjoy this evening and the game.

  12. Team Warm-Ups – A team may begin its pre-game warm-up no earlier than 5:30 p.m., local time.  There shall be no practice at the game site (Exception to this would be if a team uses the game site as its regular practice field.).
  13. Concessions – The game director is responsible for making arrangements for concessions.  Profits from the concessions will go to the host school or to those appointed by the game director to handle concessions.
  14. Medical Staff / Ambulance – The game director is responsible for making sure an ambulance is available for all emergencies.  Each team will provide its own doctor and/or trainer, and they may sit on the sidelines with the team.
  15. Security – The host school is responsible for arranging for an adequate number of law enforcement officers and guards.  At least one law enforcement officer or guard shall be assigned to escort the officials on and off the field.
  16. Game Balls – Each team shall be responsible for furnishing its own game balls.  The Wilson NCAA 1003 GST football is the “Official Football” for the TSSAA, but it is not required to be used in the football playoffs.
  17. Financial Arrangements / Reporting – The game director is required to complete and submit the financial report to TSSAA through the TSSAA Portal.  The formula for distribution of gross gate receipts shall be as follows:

    25% of gross to host school; 25% of gross to visiting school; and 50% of gross less payment for the game officials and chain crews to TSSAA

    The host school will be responsible for site expenses out of their 25% and the visiting school will be responsible for traveling expenses out of their 25%.  The host school shall be responsible for the payment of game officials and chain crew.  Payment for the officials and the chain crew will be taken from the 50% of the cross gate receipts due to TSSAA.  All checks for district, regional, and sectional tournaments and playoffs must be distributed within 10 business days of the completion of the tournament or game. Failure to do so will result in a $100.00 late fee to be paid to TSSAA and is to be used in the A.F. Bridges sportsmanship program to go to schools or students receiving awards. Failure to distribute funds within 20 business days will result in an additional $200 late fee (total $300.00). Failure to distribute funds within 40 business days will result in an additional $200.00 late fee (total $500.00). The school may not host any tournament or playoff until the principal or athletic director appears before the Board of Control to explain their reasons for not distributing the checks within the required time frame. The Board would then determine whether the school can host tournaments or playoffs in the future.

  18. Video / Videostream / Radio / Press – The game director shall make necessary arrangements for press and radio.
    1. Any media entity, or school wishing to videostream or tape delay broadcast any football playoff games must submit their request to the TSSAA in writing. The request must be submitted at least three days prior to the event in question. This includes state championship events.
      1. If such permission is granted for a live videostream for the football playoffs, a fee of $750 will be paid to the game director and shall be included as part of the gate receipts.
      2. If such permission is granted for a 24-hour tape delay telecast for the football playoffs, a fee of $250 will be paid to the game director and shall be included as part of the gate receipts.
    2. Permission to broadcast must be secured from the game director. In case more radio stations request permission to broadcast than can be accommodated, the two towns involved in the playoff game shall be given first consideration. Stations will then be given permission to broadcast in the order requests were received.
    3. Press passes must be secured through the game director.
      1. The daily newspapers covering the playoff game will be allowed passes for working press and photographers.
      2. Only the weekly newspapers from the areas representing the towns of the participating teams will be allowed press passes. This number is limited to two.
    4. Should a team desire to tape or film the game, the game director will assign a spot for the team’s photographer, if space is available.  No schools may tape or film a practice or game involving two other teams.
  19. Football Play-Off Program – Programs for the football playoffs are not supplied by TSSAA. All schools may produce a playoff program by using the provided template. This will create an 8-page program. It is the host school’s responsibility to get the roster for the host school and the visiting school and an updated copy of the bracket in their classification off the TSSAA website. The programs can then be printed either at school or a copy center (Kinko’s, Office Max, Staples, etc.). It will be the responsibility of the host school to secure program sellers. All programs should be sold for $2.00 and the host school will retain all of the money. No other programs may be produced or sold at the playoff games.
  20. Awards – In Division I, first and second place plaques will be shipped directly to the region regular season winner and runner-up. In Division I and Division II, additional awards will be presented to all semifinal teams. The semifinal losers will receive their plaque the week following the semifinal games. The semifinal winners will receive either a state championship or state runner-up trophy.
  21. BlueCross Bowl Program – The deadline to submit your team’s information for the BlueCross Bowl program, should your team qualify, is NOVEMBER 24, 2017.  Instructions for submitting your team’s information can be found here.