The first step was taken today to create a “super division” in the Ohio high school football playoffs beginning in 2013, according to an e-mail from the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
The OHSAA added a seventh division which will be the new Division I. It will include the largest 10 per cent of the schools, which the OHSAA expects will be 72 schools. There will be an average of 108 schools in each of the other six divisions. The size of the schools is based on enrollment.
The OHSAA board of directors adopted the change in a 6-3 vote in Columbus. The three dissidents probably were holding out for a more dramatic change, at least that’s how I read it.
Division I always has caused difficulty for the OHSAA because it is the only open-ended division, including schools such as Mentor, St. Ignatius and Cincinnati St. Xavier with over 1,400 boys at the top end and schools with half as many at the bottom end.
Personally, I felt that the top division should be even more restricted, perhaps the biggest 50 schools in Division I. In any case, 50 or 72 schools are arbitrary numbers. However, the change does indicate the OHSAA’s determination to tackle the issue.
Playoff qualifiers will remain at 32 schools in each division, which means that 44 per cent of the schools in the new Division I will qualify for the playoffs and only 30 per cent in the other six divisions.
There was no mention of creating separate tournaments for private schools, as some principals advocate.
Still to come are artificial changes to the enrollment figures based on various factors. You can follow these developments by dialing up the OHSAA website at http://www.ohsaa.org.
That’s all for now.