COLUMBUS, Ohio – New divisional breakdowns for the upcoming fall sports, which for the first time include Competitive Balance roster data in football, volleyball and soccer, were approved Thursday morning by the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors during its April meeting. Division assignments are based on school enrollment numbers provided by the Ohio Department of Education, and then modified in football, volleyball and soccer based on Competitive Balance factors that OHSAA member schools approved by referendum vote in 2014.
Of the 718 schools that play football in Ohio, 75 schools moved up to a higher division due to competitive balance and/or a higher base enrollment number. In volleyball (790 schools), 51 moved up a division. In girls soccer (522 schools), 24 moved up a division, while in boys soccer (571 schools), 30 moved up a division.
“This is a journey that we have been on for more than eight years to get to this point,” Dr. Dan Ross, OHSAA Commissioner, said. “Today’s approval of the fall sports divisional breakdowns is the result of countless hours of work by our staff and our member schools. For the first time in OHSAA history, enrollment isn’t the only factor in determining a school’s division in certain sports. But the journey isn’t over. We will study the results of this first go-around and discuss with the Competitive Balance Committee and the board.”
According to Competitive Balance regulations, the previous season’s roster data (grades 9-12) is used for affecting the following season’s additional roster count in the selected sports. The additional roster count is added to the school’s base enrollment number to determine the final adjusted enrollment count before divisional placements are made.
“The committee studied the competitive balance factors and we listened to the feedback from our member schools,” Dr. Ross said, noting that the first three Competitive Balance Proposals were voted down by the membership in 2011, 2012 and 2013. “As we’ve said all along, our goal is to keep public and non-public schools together in the same postseason divisions, but Competitive Balance will help place those schools in the correct division based on the makeup of their roster. We are very pleased that this is now off the ground and we can see the results. We’ll continue to gather feedback and see what changes, if any, the committee wants to propose to the membership to vote on in the future.”
Winter sports divisional breakdowns will be presented to the board at its June meeting and spring sports will be presented in August.
Here’s the divisional breakdown for high school football teams in our area. Two local teams will move up a division this season (West Branch and Newton Falls) while four local teams will drop down (Poland, East Palestine, Liberty, and Lisbon).