Your helpful guide to MAIS power points

Published 7:55 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

All across Mississippi — and Louisiana, and parts of Arkansas — on Friday night, the first order of business for football coaches in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools at the conclusion of their games will be to find the nearest computer.

For those not well versed in the process, we’re here to help with your annual power points primer.
The MAIS picks and seeds its playoff teams a little differently than in the Mississippi High School Activities Association. In the MHSAA, the top four teams in each region are picked and seeded one through four by record. Pretty simple.

In the MAIS, the first-place team in each district receives an automatic berth. After that, the association uses a power points system to pick wild card teams and seed all 16 that make the bracket. In Class AAA, which contains St. Aloysius and Porter’s Chapel Academy, there are five district champions and 11 wild cards. St. Al and PCA are hoping to make it as wild cards when the dust settles on Friday.

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The total number of points a team earns is divided by the number of games played for an average rating. That rating is used to select and seed the teams.

So how do teams earn power points, you ask? Easy. There are three ways:

• Teams get 14 points for a victory.

• They get three bonus points for whatever classification their wins are against, from three for a Class AA team through nine for a Class AAAA-Division I team.

• Teams get one point for each win their opponents pick up over the course of the season, which is where the real fun begins.

Since teams can get power points in Week 10 from opponents they played back in Week 1, nearly every game in the MAIS this Friday will mean something to someone, even if it’s in a six degrees of separation kind of way.
St. Al and PCA are battling for one of the last few wild card spots in Class AAA, but a team neither of them have played could beat one of their early-season opponents and cost them power points. Two teams neither of them played could be facing a team they’re in contention with, thus helping or hurting an opponent.

It all gets very complicated very quickly, which is part of what makes it fun. So buckle up, folks, and set your browsers to the MAIS home page. Around 10 p.m. Friday, it’ll be a very interesting place.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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