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OHSAA approves division expansion for seven sports

OHSAA approves division expansion for seven sports


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors unanimously approved division expansion on Thursday for seven sports.

The approval came at the board’s normally scheduled meeting and will expand divisions for volleyball, girls soccer, boys soccer, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball and baseball.

The new divisions will go into effect beginning in the fall of 2024.

OHSAA Executive Diretor Doug Ute said that the divisional growth was a “step forward to level the playing field” during postseason play.

“It’s the right thing to do for the student-athletes who have been competing at this disadvantage,” said Ute. “For too long, the largest schools in our divisions have been so much larger than the smaller schools in the same division, which has resulted in many schools accepting that they realistically have little chance at making a run in the tournament. In some of our sports, there have been more than 200 schools competing for a state title in that division, which is significantly more than what most other states do, and what we do in many of our own sports.

“We know that there is a lot of work to do in the coming months to prepare for additional divisions this fall,” Ute said. “We have already started working on the details to accomplish this, but one thing we know for sure is that having two or three more state champions in these sports doesn’t water them down or diminish winning a state title. And we anticipate that this new format will be revenue neutral, since every school makes the tournament already.”

The board also announced on Thursday that it will continue to review other sports and the possibility division expansion — specifically noting that several recent meetings and how division expansion would apply to track and field.

The OHSAA will announce structural and dates changes for future state tournaments at a later date.

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