Added football division, change for cross country new for OHSAA

A vote by member principals this past spring derailed a re-tweaked version of the Competitive Balance Issue. Pushing that through has been the No. 1 project of the Ohio High School Athletic Association for a couple of frustrating years.

But that doesn’t mean that implementing the hoped-for theory of level playing fields for high school sports in Ohio is going away.

Anyone game for duelling proposals?

That’s what could happen should a revised CBI be submitted by the OHSAA board of directors and yet another petition be proposed by school administrators to split public from private schools in the postseason.

Although addressing a different OHSAA subject, that counter objective has happened.

Members would be asked to approve — or vote against — one or the other issues, but not both.

“In theory you could have competing proposals,” OHSAA Assistant Commissioner Bob Goldring said. “A negative vote on both means you want things status quo.”

Here’s what we know: OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross is mainly responsible for pushing anything through membership that will determine divisions for the various varsity sports based on something more than enrollment.

Like previously, that’s the single determining factor for the upcoming two school years. All sports divisions are determined by the OHSAA in two-year cycles.

Divisions for football in 2013-14 were announced two weeks ago. Just last week divisions for the rest of the fall sports were announced by the OHSAA: girls volleyball, boys and girls golf, soccer and cross country, girls tennis and girls field hockey.

Divisions for the winter and spring sports through 2015 will be decided by the OHSAA board during its August meeting.

Football is the only sport that will have a divisional change among all the fall sports. A seventh division has been added. The top 72 schools with the most boys enrollment will make up Division I. The other six divisions will be made up from 105-109 schools.

All the other sports will have the same divisional lineup as 2011-13.

The other major change is how the divisions for cross country teams will be decided. The boys and girls enrollments will be combined, then divided by two and split equally among three divisions.

Previously, a boys team could be in one division and the girls in another. That presented problems at the district and regional meets. Separate sites for the various postseason races meant that coaches who handle both boys and girls teams would miss a meet.

“This is something that’s unprecedented for any other OHSAA sport,” said Goldring.

Girls volleyball has the most participating teams among all the fall sports with 794. Football ranks second with 715. Girls field hockey has the least participating schools with 37.

A school must be an OHSAA member to participate in those postseason tournaments. Home-schooled youths must take at least one class with an OHSAA-member school to be eligible to play sports at that school.

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