Blanchard River Buzz

A blog for rabid sports fans in the Findlay Area. Maintained by Findlay Courier sports writer Jamie Baker. The opinions expressed are my own crazed ramblings and not those of my employer the Findlay Publishing Company and its subsidiaries.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I just don’t understand it and I’d be surprised if many of the rest of the OHSAA members stand for it.

I’m talking about the rule the OHSAA Board of Control passed unanimously during its June 8 meeting that changes the way the OHSAA sets its divisions in each sport.

Here’s how it works:

Below is the formula the OHSAA will use to determine divisions, starting with the 2007-08 school year:

**Six divisions (football) -- Division I comprises of the top 10 percent of the schools participating in the football postseason. The bottom two percent of schools based on enrollment will be taken out of the count as remaining number of schools are divided equally into the bottom five divisions. Once the calculations are compete, the bottom two percent will be added to Division VI.

**Four divisions (boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, girls volleyball) -- Division I takes the top 22 percent of enrollments, then Divisions II, III and IV are divided equally over the next 26 percent.

**Three divisions (boys and girls cross country, boys and girls track and field, boys golf, boys soccer, wrestling) -- Division I is the top 28 percent and Divisions II and III are divided equally, both at 36 percent.

**Two divisions (girls soccer, girls swimming and diving, boys and girls tennis) -- Division I is the top 45 percent.

ALSO: Schools have the option of moving up to compete in Division I in the postseason on a sport-by-sport basis on two-year intervals. Teams in lower divisions are allowed to move up only to Division I.

In football, the new set up it’s simply a mess.

It’s a wonderful new rule if you are a Division I school — especially in football. If you remain with the 72 big schools in Division I odds are pretty good that you will make the playoffs every single season if you have a decent program. There will be 72 teams in D-I and 32 teams make the playoffs.

The way it will work is that the rest of the divisions will have about 126 teams except for Division VI which will have around 140 teams. That’s right the 72-teams in Division I send 32 teams to the playoffs and the 140-teams in Division VI also only get 32 playoff spots.

There will be nearly DOUBLE the number of teams competing in Division VI as compared to Division I.

There’s something rotten in Denmark or on Roselea Place in Columbus, the site of the OHSAA offices.

Placating and kowtowing to the small Division I schools is one thing but screwing the rest of the smaller members of the OHSAA with this regulation is quite another.

— Smaller schools will have a tougher time making the playoffs in football (and adding all-important funds that come with a playoff appearance in football) than their big school brethren.

— Schools in other divisions will have to beat more opponents and will have a tougher road to a state title because there will be more and bigger schools in the smaller divisions after the new regulations take affect.

I was amazed how many area coaches and administrators don’t know anything about the new rule let alone that it was adopted in June. Here’s hoping when it finally sees the light of day, administrators, fans and coaches see it for what it is. And then they do their part to make sure all member schools are on an even playing field that’s not tipped in favor of the OHSAA’s biggest schools.

What Commissioner Daniel Ross said about the new rule...
"The modification in the way schools will be assigned to divisions is an attempt create a fairer way to conduct our tournaments," OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross said. "When you are in Division I and are competing against schools that have eight or nine hundred more students than you, you certainly want to looks for ways to make the tournaments more equitable. I commend the subcommittee for developing this proposal, and I know our Board of Control is anxious to see how this works out."


  • At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    One only has to look as far as new OHSAA commissioner Dr. Ross for the rationale behind this change.

    Dr. Ross, formerly the superintendent at Avon Lake, sees his former school district growing out of division 2 and into division 1.

    Division 1 in northeast ohio would put the Shoreman up against St. Ignatius, St. Eds., and Glenville.

    This change will keep Avon Lake in Division 2, away from the top football schools in northeast Ohio, and thus ensuring their continued success in the football playoff system.


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