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Chris Hughes

NCHSAA Winter Board of Directors Meeting

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The Winter meeting of the NCHSAA Board of Directors will be held Thursday morning at the Simon F. Terrell Building in Chapel Hill.  This meeting has the makings of being a very interesting one, and could be our first opportunity to learn what direction the association will be headed down, in regards to realignment, and or reclassification.  I will be on hand for the meeting and will bring you all the news from it. 

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I know being a football referee is a brutal thing but I hope the Board would at least discuss the current state of officiating.  It was without a doubt, the worst I've ever seen this season.  I encourage young, athletic, fair minded, young men and women to consider being an official. 

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I am not at the meeting today but have been to the last six or so.  It is a hot topic at every meeting and they have made concessions to help with training and recruiting.  The issue is the older refs nearing their fifties and up are aging out and they are not being replaced.  Another issue I have learned from speaking about this to numerous people is the thirty year old is working his butt off to make ends meet and raise a family.  He is limited on time due to working and often commuting.  Add in his children are involved in extracurriculars and for the requirements to be a ref and the net gain in income he cannot justify it.  In addition, the way fans act at games has caused many of the seasoned ones to move on especially in basketball.  

I think very limited cost training that is readily available.  More pay which has been increased.  More security at the venues with less tolerance to some of the actions we see.

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Referee pay needs to increase by $50 a game. Agents need to do a better job of supervising their staff instead of just collecting funds. They should make it a point to be at one of the games every week.

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Great plan they are trying to put in place.  Start getting students that are interested involved in high school by having training sessions and having them start calling youth or intramural games.  I think getting young people interested could be the key but there is more than just that needed.  Good luck on this as it is a huge part of the success of sports going into the future!

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19 hours ago, btango said:

Great plan they are trying to put in place.  Start getting students that are interested involved in high school by having training sessions and having them start calling youth or intramural games.  I think getting young people interested could be the key but there is more than just that needed.  Good luck on this as it is a huge part of the success of sports going into the future!

I hope it works.  It sounds like it could be promising.  Football has gotten so much more difficult to officiate with the spread offenses and more and more speed.  Everything is quicker and spread over a greater distance.  I've had coaches tell me when you see 3 or 4 flags on the field and all are related to the same infraction, some of the officials are not watching what they are assigned to watch. 

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The NCHSAA needs make major changes to save the sport:

1. Eliminate the bye week.

2. Cut the season to 10 games.

3. Change the locations to a East and West rotation for championship games. I guarantee you more fans will come watch a local team within 30 miles of the school, many from conference foes.

4. Completely eliminate the 8 quarter rule.

5. Not start practice more than 4 weeks out from opening day. Completely eliminate the Spring practices.

6. Abolish the one time free transfer rule. Heavy penalties for out of district kids.

7. Major changes to leagues for Charter schools, open enrollment, and magnets.

8. Disallow the fluffing of ADMs based on kids in alternate programs. Count them all.

9. Not allow scheduling more than one classification up or down. Don’t we have classes for a reason?

10. Increase safety measures by disallowing 14 and 15 year olds from playing varsity with 16, 17, and 18 year olds. Ridiculous.

The season is too long. It’s driving kids out of the sport. These kids are getting burned out on the overwhelming requirements of coaches. These kids can do geometry but can’t learn simple blocking and plays? Cut practice to no more than 2 hours per day once school starts.

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the NCAA has the 20 hour rule for student-athletes as in no more than 20 hrs per week of mandatory practice. Does the NCHSAA have the same rule or something similar?

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2 hours ago, GDG said:

The NCHSAA needs make major changes to save the sport:

1. Eliminate the bye week.- I could agree with this it ends the season earlier

2. Cut the season to 10 games.- Agree

3. Change the locations to a East and West rotation for championship games. I guarantee you more fans will come watch a local team within 30 miles of the school, many from conference foes. Completely agree.

4. Completely eliminate the 8 quarter rule. Agree, no need to burn a kid out or risk injury to over use, you are in HS for 4 years, a 14 yr old is not physically ready for contact with 16,17,18yr olds.

5. Not start practice more than 4 weeks out from opening day. Completely eliminate the Spring practices.- I disagree, kids that go on to play at the collegiate level will be required to do this, might as well prepare them early, I think a lot of kids are shocked at the amount of training that goes on at the college level, they don't realize the time commitment needed.

6. Abolish the one time free transfer rule. Heavy penalties for out of district kids. Agree

7. Major changes to leagues for Charter schools, open enrollment, and magnets. Agree

8. Disallow the fluffing of ADMs based on kids in alternate programs. Count them all. 1000% Agree

9. Not allow scheduling more than one classification up or down. Don’t we have classes for a reason? Problem here is, you can't fill your schedule and maximize profits if you are having to travel further for games

10. Increase safety measures by disallowing 14 and 15 year olds from playing varsity with 16, 17, and 18 year olds. Ridiculous. Yes, Yes and Yes....

The season is too long. It’s driving kids out of the sport. These kids are getting burned out on the overwhelming requirements of coaches. These kids can do geometry but can’t learn simple blocking and plays? Cut practice to no more than 2 hours per day once school starts. See above post.

 

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As participation drops coaches are playing more freshmen and sophomores. It’s getting out of hand especially in 1A and 2A. Big talk with no backbone about safety all the time yet kids are at risk more than ever.

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My responses are in BOLD.

5 hours ago, GDG said:

The NCHSAA needs make major changes to save the sport:

1. Eliminate the bye week.  

2. Cut the season to 10 games.  Currently it is 12 weeks with 11 games allowed.  Make it 11 weeks but still with 11 games allowed.  Coaches can decide.

3. Change the locations to a East and West rotation for championship games. I guarantee you more fans will come watch a local team within 30 miles of the school, many from conference foes.  I wrote about this on another thread.  I do not agree with school hosting.  Been involved in the 1980's.  Would like to see small colleges used but they are not as interested as I would expect.  

4. Completely eliminate the 8 quarter rule.  No.  SC eliminated it and it has hurt the level of the game.  Perfect example:  Freshman plays backup varsity QB.  Plays in most games at the end but is not getting the seasoning.  Needs to be on JV for that but he is by far the second best QB option.

5. Not start practice more than 4 weeks out from opening day. They start less than that now.  Everyone should start the same day.  If a team does not have a game the first week they have an extra week.  See 11 weeks and 11 games max above.                                                                                                              Completely eliminate the Spring practices.  I do not support contact which is terrible for linemen but I am for spring football practice.  Most schools try and schedule it after the spring sport conclude.  Should be extreme penalties if a coach demands attendance causing conflict with spring sports.  I know of baseball coaches that do not want their players playing another sport and basketball coaches that do not want them playing a fall sport.  That is an issue.

6. Abolish the one time free transfer rule. Heavy penalties for out of district kids.  This needs to be reviewed.  Seems to be a lot of confusion on the rule.  NCHSAA ran from a potential lawsuit they were told they could not win.  The burden rests on the LEAs.  If a student moves into the district the are few legal options to stop them from participating.

7. Major changes to leagues for Charter schools, open enrollment, and magnets.  ABSOLUTELY!  1A is being crushed by these options.  I would take a remedy to this over all other items mentioned!

8. Disallow the fluffing of ADMs based on kids in alternate programs. Count them all.  They have to come up with a sensible way to track this.  Murphy not counting EC kids.  Tarboro having a huge amount of students at the charter and the EC.

9. Not allow scheduling more than one classification up or down. Don’t we have classes for a reason?  No.  If Tarboro wants to play Rocky Mount or New Bern I have no issue with that.  If Crest went to 4A I would never think they should not play Shelby.  If Shelby wants to play Gaffney I am ok with that.  Do we punish success by limiting options?  No!  Coaches, ADs, and principals need to be sensible enough to realize what is best for their team and program.  Anson should not have played Richmond this year but Porter Ridge may have been sensible.

10. Increase safety measures by disallowing 14 and 15 year olds from playing varsity with 16, 17, and 18 year olds. Ridiculous.  No.  Once again we are punishing success. I watched a freshman light it up Friday night for Vance.  Difference maker.   Some schools struggle to field a JV team.  Make this a rule along with the dropping the eight quarter rule? Don't think that is a good plan.  

The season is too long. It’s driving kids out of the sport. These kids are getting burned out on the overwhelming requirements of coaches. These kids can do geometry but can’t learn simple blocking and plays? Cut practice to no more than 2 hours per day once school starts.  I do not know many schools that go over two hours and most have very little contact in season.  Some may be different.  Sometimes less is more!  Great coaches probably have this figured out and I doubt many of them are on the field over two hours.

Good post, GDG!

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I’ll tell you what I have been told by dozens of kids over the last decade. I’ve had hundreds of kids in my home for decades. Back in the “good old days” kids played sports and went to work in factories. Maybe 25 to 30 percent went to to college. Now that number is 64%. The mindset of kids is completely different. All their friends played football so they played and the factory people worshipped the home team. That’s done and gone.

Kids that played football in high school rarely attend high school games anymore. They DO follow their college program and tailgate with people they roomed with. They left high school behind. That means they are taking there kids to college games not high school games.

Being a parent of four kids who all played sports only one kid ever went to a high school sport of any kind after all the siblings went to college. He went to 2 wrestling matches one year. All still follow App State football though. Not one of those kids want their kids to play football. Not one. Will they play sports? Most likely. My son has made it clear after playing football that he will not encourage his two sons to play for any football coach. He’s leading them into soccer and wrestling he says. When the last kids my kids age were at the house all the football players could not wait for football to end because it drug out into three sports seasons and then consumed family summer fun times. So much for that “kids would do anything to play one more game.” That’s BS a guy on a forum would say.

As much as these adults think they drive the survival of football they are sadly mistaken. No players- no job. No players- no revenue. No players- no team. These ADs and coaches can want whatever is best for them but they better damn well start to understand their mindset is not the same as the bodies who really control their future. 

The issue is you have out of touch school employees making decisions about a game driven by participation. All you have to do is look down the sidelines at numbers of juniors and seniors compared to 15 years ago.

I know you continue to relay what you have seen in the past with how people have voted and thought. As a parent it does not match the kids view or the parents of 2019. Matter of fact it doesn’t even apply to just football. Kids are not going to be treated like they were even 10 years ago. They have too many options to take crap off self righteous coaches in any sport. Now coaches walk the halls begging kids to play sports. You want to fix participation? You do what the kids want. The fact is they control high school footballs future. If I were a coach I’d spend less time talking and more time listening.

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If a student wants to play sports I do not think three weeks of preseason practice,  eleven week season (ten or eleven games), and four or five weeks of playoffs is out of question.  I could see ten games with a four week playoff but then there will coaches, parents, and players crying about their 8-3 team did not make the playoffs.

Two weeks of spring football practice with no contact after spring sports seasons are complete does not sound like a lot.

I came up in a small school where playing two and three sports was common.  A few of us ventured toward four with track on non baseball game days.

Most schools have weight training as a last period class for football. 

Regardless of the plan or structure there will be complaints.  I agree with you 100% that there are students that are not going to buckle down hard because there are easier options that are more fun for many of them.  I get that.

I do respect your opinions and agree with them for the most part.  I do not know the answer.  I do not know if there is "an" answer.  High school and sports reflect our society and that could be concerning or may be it is good.

 

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8 hours ago, GDG said:

The NCHSAA needs make major changes to save the sport:

1. Eliminate the bye week.

2. Cut the season to 10 games.

3. Change the locations to a East and West rotation for championship games. I guarantee you more fans will come watch a local team within 30 miles of the school, many from conference foes.

4. Completely eliminate the 8 quarter rule.

5. Not start practice more than 4 weeks out from opening day. Completely eliminate the Spring practices.

6. Abolish the one time free transfer rule. Heavy penalties for out of district kids.

7. Major changes to leagues for Charter schools, open enrollment, and magnets.

8. Disallow the fluffing of ADMs based on kids in alternate programs. Count them all.

 9. Not allow scheduling more than one classification up or down. Don’t we have classes for a reason?

 10. Increase safety measures by disallowing 14 and 15 year olds from playing varsity with 16, 17, and 18 year olds. Ridiculous.

 The season is too long. It’s driving kids out of the sport. These kids are getting burned out on the overwhelming requirements of coaches. These kids can do geometry but can’t learn simple blocking and plays? Cut practice to no more than 2 hours per day once school starts.

1. Why? This gives kids a chance to rest and overcome minor injuries.

2. Sure why not...

3. Do you mean have the games at Wake Forest one year and NC State the next, or have the games a the home stadium of a team? 

4. Why and what are your alternatives? What side of the isle do you stand on this issue?

5. For what? Spring practice get the kids acclimated with the coaches and helps them learn a playbook. You have Spring practice in college, not reason to not get them ready for it in the future. If you're worried about heat concerns, then have in later in the day. 

6. If someone moves they shouldn't be punished. They didn't have a choice in the matter. Unfortunately you can't prove that players aren't moving for sports reasons, but that's just something we have to deal with. 

7. I don't have a positive opinion of charter schools, but what changes are you looking to see?

8. Isn't that how it is already? Vance is 4AA instead of 4A because of alternative programs associated with the school. Someone fact check me. 

9. Then teams like Shelby or Reidsville (perennial powers in their class) wouldn't be able to play tougher competition. 

10. Can't agree with that at all. If they're ready to play Varsity, then they're ready. One of my close friends played Varsity as a freshman and dominated. He's in the NFL now. Obviously everyone isn't him, but there are special cases. 

 

The long season isn't driving kids away from the sport. Parents being afraid to let their kids play football because of CTE and other injuries are driving kids from the sport. Year-round sports like basketball and baseball are driving kids away from the sport. Just having other hobbies in this 21st century world we live in are driving kids away from the sport. 

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58 minutes ago, forsythco said:


I am going to answer a few and GDG can, also.

1. Why? This gives kids a chance to rest and overcome minor injuries.  People think the season runs too late.  I agree.

2. Sure why not...

3. Do you mean have the games at Wake Forest one year and NC State the next, or have the games a the home stadium of a team?  No.  He is saying a true western and eastern place or at the regional champion on an alternating basis East to West.

4. Why and what are your alternatives? What side of the isle do you stand on this issue?

5. For what? Spring practice get the kids acclimated with the coaches and helps them learn a playbook. You have Spring practice in college, not reason to not get them ready for it in the future. If you're worried about heat concerns, then have in later in the day. 

6. If someone moves they shouldn't be punished. They didn't have a choice in the matter. Unfortunately you can't prove that players aren't moving for sports reasons, but that's just something we have to deal with. That is not the rule he is referencing.

7. I don't have a positive opinion of charter schools, but what changes are you looking to see?  They should not be playing 1A sports.

8. Isn't that how it is already? Vance is 4AA instead of 4A because of alternative programs associated with the school. Someone fact check me. 

Those students are in the school and can play sports fir Vance.  This is specific to the opposite.  Non athletes leave school.  Does not hurt the athlete pool but drops the ADM sometimes by as much as 20%.  In 1A that is an issue.

9. Then teams like Shelby or Reidsville (perennial powers in their class) wouldn't be able to play tougher competition. 

10. Can't agree with that at all. If they're ready to play Varsity, then they're ready. One of my close friends played Varsity as a freshman and dominated. He's in the NFL now. Obviously everyone isn't him, but there are special cases. 

 

The long season isn't driving kids away from the sport. Parents being afraid to let their kids play football because of CTE and other injuries are driving kids from the sport. Year-round sports like basketball and baseball are driving kids away from the sport. Just having other hobbies in this 21st century world we live in are driving kids away from the sport. 

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17 hours ago, GDG said:

@btango do you have children?

I think some kids come in as freshman built for varsity. Take Tommy Henry the kid was a beast as a freshman, u could almost say it wouldn't have been fair to let the JV kids have to play against him.

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22 hours ago, amaidendevil said:

I think some kids come in as freshman built for varsity. Take Tommy Henry the kid was a beast as a freshman, u could almost say it wouldn't have been fair to let the JV kids have to play against him.

Who cares what Tommy Henry was like. He is what is called an anomaly. We don’t make rules and laws based on one time successful data points. It’s like saying if a guy would have not buckled his seat belt he would have been saved during a wreck into the river. My point being we don’t leave those decisions on medical safety to a guy who wants to win and whose medical training consist of supervising a high school gym class.

@btango the reason I asked you about having children is there is an obvious difference in an individual's feelings toward aspects of contact sports dependent on being a parent or non parent. Just like when someone is in a dangerous school district vs at a private/charter school. You do whatever it takes to change that environment.

My kid when 14 years old drove my straight drive diesel pickup truck better than many adults. The state says he can’t drive though. We don’t make rules and laws for one time successes.

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Richmond has a ninth grade academy on a separate campus with their own football teams.  Had two for a few years, Green and a Gold.  Caleb Hood got a ride to the high school each day to practice as he was the starting varsity QB.  I do not want to take that opportunity away especially for a student that is in the high school.  

Obviously, coaches need to be sensible.  That can be an issue.

The eight quarter rule is the difference between having a JV and not having one at a lot of schools.  At a small 1A school or a school with little participation with no the choice may be to have a varsity only.  

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16 minutes ago, btango said:

Richmond has a ninth grade academy on a separate campus with their own football teams.  Had two for a few years, Green and a Gold.  Caleb Hood got a ride to the high school each day to practice as he was the starting varsity QB.  I do not want to take that opportunity away especially for a student that is in the high school.  

Obviously, coaches need to be sensible.  That can be an issue.

The eight quarter rule is the difference between having a JV and not having one at a lot of schools.  At a small 1A school or a school with little participation with no the choice may be to have a varsity only.  

I don’t know how you work around the 1A schools and glad you brought that up. I still think the gap in age is too wide. Of course I’ve always felt schools on the lower end of 1A in numbers should be playing 8 man football much like Texas. In North Carolina travel and scheduling would be a nightmare I concede. I don’t have that answer except my concern is child safety even if it means no freshman plays varsity.

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he NCHSAA needs make major changes to save the sport:

1. Eliminate the bye week. I agree. Cut it in the playoffs as well.

2. Cut the season to 10 games. That will never happen because the NCHSAA gets part of the gate receipts in the Endowment Game.

3. Change the locations to a East and West rotation for championship games. I guarantee you more fans will come watch a local team within 30 miles of the school, many from conference foes. I personally do not like that idea. 

4. Completely eliminate the 8 quarter rule. What purpose would that serve? It would hurt schools that do not have large numbers on their varsity team. 

5. Not start practice more than 4 weeks out from opening day. Completely eliminate the Spring practices. Most schools open the third week from Aug. 1. The Spring practice is a great way to introduce them to a new system if a new coach is hired and a great refresher for all the rest of us. Plus it allows new kids to see if they really want to play FB or not.

6. Abolish the one time free transfer rule. Heavy penalties for out of district kids. I am not that familiar with that rule so I cannot comment on it. Please educate me on this rule and I will comment.

7. Major changes to leagues for Charter schools, open enrollment, and magnets. They have their own unique sets of problems based on the fact that they can legally recruit. Because of this they do not need to be in the NCHSAA.

8. Disallow the fluffing of ADMs based on kids in alternate programs. Count them all. The two divisions in each class take care of that problem. The one problem I see is counting kids who are in Special Needs Classes. 

9. Not allow scheduling more than one classification up or down. Don’t we have classes for a reason? This would create two problems. First it would create problems in scheduling non conference games. Second some great programs like to schedule tougher non conference games to see how well they are performing.

10. Increase safety measures by disallowing 14 and 15 year olds from playing varsity with 16, 17, and 18 year olds. Ridiculous. I agree with you in most cases. However there are kids who are ready to play varsity ball as freshmen and this would eliminate their chances of doing so.

The season is too long. It’s driving kids out of the sport. These kids are getting burned out on the overwhelming requirements of coaches. These kids can do geometry but can’t learn simple blocking and plays? Cut practice to no more than 2 hours per day once school starts. The FB season is no longer than the other sports seasons. Plus the fact that the other sports play 2-3 times a week. Wrestling kids have matches during the week as well as most Saturdays with tournaments. Plays, blocking schemes, etc. are not as simple as you would think. I agree with you on the 2 hour block of time. I say there needs to be a rule that no practice can last linger than 2 hours.This is what we do at EG. I have never coached with a HC that goes any longer than 2 hours. I do know some who do. We use a segment time to make sure we stay on time with our periods. Some use sun dials. I have never encountered a player who decided not to come back because the season is too long. Most I know are sad when it ends. 

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You are welcome my friend.

The long season isn't driving kids away from the sport. Parents being afraid to let their kids play football because of CTE and other injuries are driving kids from the sport. Year-round sports like basketball and baseball are driving kids away from the sport. Just having other hobbies in this 21st century world we live in are driving kids away from the sport. 

Very true. Most of the parents I talk to wish their kids played a variety of sports all year round because they make better grades during the season than they do out of season.

 

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Decreased testosterone is a fact:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilhowe/2017/10/02/youre-not-the-man-your-father-was/#13182b0a8b7f

”...Across the population, men today have less testosterone compared to men of the same age a generation ago.”

We shouldn’t be surprised that young men are less interested in risky, aggressive behavior, like football, when there is a real decrease in the hormone that makes them more aggressive and likely to take risks.

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10 hours ago, FHS1985 returns said:

Decreased testosterone is a fact:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilhowe/2017/10/02/youre-not-the-man-your-father-was/#13182b0a8b7f

”...Across the population, men today have less testosterone compared to men of the same age a generation ago.”

We shouldn’t be surprised that young men are less interested in risky, aggressive behavior, like football, when there is a real decrease in the hormone that makes them more aggressive and likely to take risks.

I could see that.

Kids don’t play outside anymore much now. Too cold, too hot, yards are smaller, and more condos without grounds for play. Heck people don’t even mow their own grass as much anymore.

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If the directors were concerned about player medical safety such as concussions they would reduce the number of games to crown a champion and reduce the season. Why does a college play 11 games, one title conference game,  then a bowl game yet it takes 16 games to declare a high school champion. Add in the practice for all these rounds to a championship. There is no real concern, just a hunt for money and a chance to say you made the playoffs.

I can tell you a couple decades ago wrestling did not have a limit on matches in a year. Some states still don’t. I’ve seen records in states where they go 90 plus matches at some schools. That’s insane. NC did the same for decades.

Weather would never be a concern in North Carolina if the bye week disappeared with four rounds for playoffs. Isn’t it strange how much complaining people do about coaches not getting paid enough yet they will not relinquish the season length nor the weeks of practice.

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College plays 12 regular season games, 13 if you are willing to fly to Hawaii. Participants in the national championship typically have played 15 games, although they could conceivably play 16. 

I agree on your point though.  I do think 10 is enough in the regular season and 4 would be plenty in the playoffs, but you have to get the divisions small enough for that.

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