We’ve got some firm answers now on how the VHSL playoffs will work this year, and for all area teams, everything is largely as expected.
Groups 1A, 2A and 3A will select the Top 16 in each region regardless of conference based on power ratings and will cross bracket the semifinals with the top team from the East playing the second-highest seeded team from the West and vice a versa. That covers, Goochland, Buckingham, Nelson, William Monroe, Madison, Western Albemarle and Monticello. The cross bracket measure is put into place to avoid the two best teams playing in the semifinals because one region is more heavily loaded than the other.
Group 4A will qualify the top 16 teams in each region regardless of conference based on ratings, but will not cross bracket the semifinals, so there will be a true region champion from the North and South. That covers Louisa, Fluvanna, Charlottesville and Powhatan.
The 5A North, which includes Albemarle and Orange, will also not cross bracket the semifinals while still taking the Top 16 squads based on power ratings.
Only the 5A South and 6A South will significantly alter the format. Instead of the top 16 teams qualifying, the top eight from the Central Conferences will be bracketed together and the top eight from the Eastern conference will be bracketed together. They will not cross bracket the semifinals of course.