“Why Is My Team Not Where I Expected?” LHSAA Football Power Ratings Explained


by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner

Are you a high school sports enthusiast eager to understand the inner workings of the LHSAA sports playoffs? GeauxPreps is here to break it down for you! Many of our readers have been left scratching their heads, wondering why our power rating calculations sometimes differ from those they see elsewhere. The answer lies in the intricate, yet impartial, mathematical formula used to determine playoff qualifications – the Power Ratings system.

What is the LHSAA Power Ratings Formula?

Before we delve into the changes made in 2023, it’s essential to understand how the LHSAA’s Power Ratings system operates. The Power Ratings formula is entirely data-driven; it doesn’t rely on subjective opinions or human elements. The goal is to create a fair, objective method for determining which teams advance to the postseason. The core components of this mathematical formula include:

  1. Result of Game: If a team wins, they are awarded 10 Power Points. If they lose, they receive none.
  2. Division: Teams playing against opponents in higher divisions earn 2 Power Points for each division above their own.
  3. Opponent Wins: To calculate a team’s opponent wins, the number of wins is divided by the total games played and then multiplied by 10. This new method was implemented to account for teams that didn’t complete a full 10-game schedule.

The Power Rating for a specific game is calculated by adding these three components together. Then, these calculations are performed for all the games played by a team. Finally, the total Power Points are divided by the number of games played, yielding the Power Rating for the entire season.

Play-Up Points Reimagined

In the world of high school football, there’s a crucial factor to consider – the ‘Play-Up’ points. Traditionally, a school’s classification was used to determine the distribution of play-up points. However, in April 2023, the LHSAA executive committee voted for a pivotal change. Now, the playoff division a team belongs to is used to determine play-up points instead of classification. This adjustment reflects the new playoff formats.

Strength Factor for Tiebreakers

In scenarios where two or more teams are tied in their Power Ratings, the strength factor comes into play. It’s calculated by adding the sum of the opponent’s class to the sum of the opponent’s wins and then dividing the result by the total number of games played. The strength factor ensures that tiebreakers are resolved fairly, especially when head-to-head matchups are absent.

GeauxPreps’ Role

It’s essential to note that GeauxPreps’ ratings are provided for informational purposes only. These ratings are computed using our implementation of the LHSAA playoff rating system and are entirely free from personal opinions or biases regarding any team’s relative strength or ability.

GeauxPreps.com automatically generates its Power Ratings every four hours for football, ensuring that you have access to the most up-to-date information. If you come across any discrepancies or have questions about the calculations, please don’t hesitate to contact us at hbower@geauxpreps.com. We’re here to provide you with accurate, impartial, and timely information about high school sports in Louisiana.