OHSAA adds seventh football division
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio High School Athletic Association will be adding a seventh tournament division in football beginning in 2013, OHSAA Commissioner Daniel B. Ross announced Thursday in a press release.
A proposal was approved by the OHSAA’s Board of Directors by a 6 to 3 vote during its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.
The plan will place the top 10 percent of schools based on enrollment in Division I, with the remaining 644 schools divided evenly among the next six divisions. Each of the seven divisions will continue to qualify 32 teams to the tournament. Currently, the six OHSAA football divisions are comprised of an average of 120 schools per division.
The plan for adopting an additional division was in response to a concern by some OHSAA member schools about the enrollment disparity that exists in Division I, where the current range is 494 males at the lower end of the division to 1,164 at the top.
“Adding a seventh division not only helps address the enrollment disparity in Division I, but it also will create 32 more tournament opportunities for student-athletes, their schools and their communities, many of which have never or rarely experienced the playoffs,” Ross said. “The committee members believe that this is an issue unique to football, especially since not all schools qualify for the OHSAA football tournament.”
Though a new two-year cycle for reassigning schools to tournament divisions begins in the fall of 2013, based on current enrollment figures from 2010, three of the five high schools in The Gazette’s coverage area would change divisions starting in 2013.
Bellevue would drop from Division III to IV, Seneca East from Division V to VI and Monroeville from VI to VII, the newest division in the OHSAA. Clyde would remain in III, while Margaretta would stay in V.
A separate committee, comprised of OHSAA Board and staff members, school administrators and officers of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association, will be formed to finalize the details of this plan.
Among the details to be determined: adjustments to the Harbin Computer Ratings with the addition of another division; regional breakdowns and assignments for Division I, and dates in which specific divisions will play their tournament contests, including logistics of an additional state tournament contest.