Understanding Basic Football Harbin Playoff Point System


Throughout the state of Ohio, most varsity football programs keep one eye on the Harbin Point system as they establish program goals each season. In many cases, those critical playoff berths are not decided until the very last night of the regular season. In an effort to share some his basic Harbin Point understandings, GMC Commissioner and Harbin expert, Steve Shuck, outlines some of the his foundation concepts of the playoff system:

Teams are awarded points for:

  • Their own wins, called first level points with a maximum of ten wins per year.
  • Their defeated opponents' wins, called second level points.  if none of your defeated opponents played other teams you play, you can get nine wins from each if they win all their games totaling ninety wins for the year.
  • The point here is that second level points make up the majority of your total.
  • Therefore defeating non-conference teams, if they do not play each other makes more points available than defeating league opponents.
  • When GMC "A" defeats GMC "B", and you defeat both, only one second level win is available to you from that contest.

Key: Finding quality non-conference opponents.  Remember that you get nothing for a loss, so schools are looking for an opponents that will win the majority of their other nine games.  This is the most difficult thing to do because everyone is trying to do the same thing.  Teams that do not think they can beat you typically will not schedule you.

Since other states do not employ the Harbin Point system for qualifying playoff teams, they are not penalized by a loss to an Ohio team and Ohio schools will often find solid out-of-state teams to schedule.

There are other small point nuances in the Harbin System and we will visit those as the season progresses. But the above outline covers how the majority of how Harbin Points are earned throughout the season.

Compliments of GMC Commissioner and Harbin Point expert, Steve Shuck