1981-82 was the first year of the expanded play-off system which featured three classifications and 16 teams in each classification, with sectional, regional and semi-state play and it is from this point that those records are kept.
Moved to four classes in 1983-84.
Moved to five classes in 1985-86.
Moved to six classes in 2013-14.
The Indiana High School Athletic Association football tournament was born in 1973, with four schools in each of three classes qualifying for post-season play based on regular-season records. The tournament format was expanded several times in the first 10 years, with a fourth class added in 1983. In 1985, the current format with five classes was adopted. It allows for every member school to enter the tournament regardless of its regular-season record, just as in all other IHSAA sports. Carmel won championship games at North Central High School in 1978, 1980 and 1981. From 1984-2007, all IHSAA championship games were played at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Starting in 2008, all championship games moved to Lucas Oil Stadium.