The Ohio High School Athletic Association will add a seventh tournament division in football beginning in 2013, said Daniel B. Ross, commissioner.
The addition was approved by the OHSAA Board of Directors by a 6-3 vote during its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, April 12.
The plan places the top 10 percent of schools based on enrollment in Division I, with the remaining 644 schools divided evenly among the next six divisions.
This leaves 72 schools in Division I with the other six divisions averaging approximately 108 schools.
Each division 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.
Based on current enrollment data, the lower end of Division I would increase to 600 males.
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.
Approval of an “athletic count” formula, which is included within a competitive balance proposal that OHSAA member school principals will vote on during the annual referendum process that will occur between May 1 and 15, would also be factored in before placing schools into their respective tournament divisions.
The next two-year cycle for reassigning schools to tournament divisions begins in the fall of 2013.
Based on current enrollment figures, a sample of the football tournament divisional enrollment ranges when adding a seventh division would be (again, keeping in mind that this will change before the 2013 season):
Division I – 600 to 1,164;
Division II – 410 to 599;
Division III – 288 to 409;
Division IV – 216 to 287;
Division V – 159 to 215;
Division VI – 114 to 158;
Division VII – 30 to 111.
The current football tournament divisional enrollment ranges, which run through 2012:
Division I – 494 to 1,164;
Division II – 327 to 493;
Division III – 243 to 326;
Division IV – 172 to 242;
Division V – 120 to 171;
Division VI – 30 to 119.