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Lansing CSD moves to eight-player football

One team, one goal, eight players.

For the 2018-19 school year, the Lansing Central School District will be moving to the eight-player high school football program. 

In an effort to balance smaller enrollments and roster-sizes, eight-player football has become more popular around the region. Rather than having the conventional 11 players, eight-player football eliminates three positions on each side. These positions usually include two offensive tackles and a skill position player on offense and two defensive backs and a lineman on defense. The field for an eight-player game will remain the same dimensions for Section IV, with the traditional field width and length. The scores for eight-player football games can be higher, due to fewer players and the opportunity for smaller, faster players to be on the field. The rules are the same for eight-player football and 11-player football.

Q&A with Coach Dean

Why is Lansing moving to eight-player football?
The decision to move to eight-player football is based primarily on the number of student athletes who have signed up to participate in football for the 2018 season. With eight-player football, you only need 13 players to be eligible to participate in a game, as opposed to the 16 required for 11-player.

What do you think are the key benefits?
One of the key benefits to this transition is that it allows Lansing the ability to maintain their identity in football. Additionally,  it provides the limited number of student athletes that we have in the district, who are interested in playing football, the ability to continue playing here at Lansing. Eight-player football also allows for a larger variety of players on the field, including smaller and faster players who previously may not have had the opportunity to play in certain positions.

Do you think there are any downsides to moving to eight-player football?
While allowing for a more diverse roster, eight-player has not been adopted by all districts within Section IV, limiting the number of opponents in Section IV. Teams competing in eight-player football for Section IV in addition to Lansing include Newfield, Oxford, and Unadilla Valley.

Did Lansing ever consider merging with another school instead?
Lansing did consider the idea of merging with several school districts. However, it was not deemed advantageous for both parties, for a variety of reasons.

Is this a permanent decision?
This is a temporary solution to the present numbers situation. Once the number of student athletes interested in playing football is sufficient to safely participate at the 11-player football level, we would return to that program and schedule as provided by Section IV.