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Ohio Adding A Division For Football

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The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors met Thursday morning in Columbus for its regularly scheduled April meeting. The following are highlights from the meeting. The complete set of meeting minutes will be posted at OHSAA.org.


-          By a 6-3 vote, the Board approved an OHSAA proposal that, beginning in 2013, adds an additional division to the football postseason tournaments and further decreases the number of schools classified as Division I that will include only the largest 10 percent of schools (approximately 72 schools). The remaining schools would be divided evenly into Divisions II through VII, with approximately 108 schools in each division. Currently there are approximately 120 schools in each division. A separate press release includes more details. Of note, with the expansion, approximately 31 percent of schools will qualify for the playoffs.

-          The financial report from the 2011 regional and state football tournaments was presented to the Board. The five-round postseason resulted in a profit of $1,762,206, which is slightly ahead of the projected amount. As has been previously noted, the football postseason generates approximately 33-percent of the OHSAA's operating revenue (gross revenue of $4,136,905 in 2011, with expenses totaling $2,374,699).

-          The Board was presented with the 2010-11 OHSAA Audit Report from the audit firm of Balestra, Harr & Scherer, CPAs Inc. The audit report will be posted at OHSAA.org. The audit report was once again an unqualified opinion, which represents the best audit opinion an entity can receive by independent auditors.

-          Nine schools were recently penalized for committing infractions of OHSAA regulations. The list of schools, along with their infractions and penalties, will be included in the meeting minutes posted at OHSAA.org, but media members may request the list in advance from Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Information Services (tstried@ohsaa.org).

-          The Board denied a proposal from the soccer coaches association that asked for the start date for practice in all fall sports (except football) be moved from the first Monday in August (which some years could be as late as August 6) to annually on August 1 (or August 2 if August 1 is a Sunday). Despite the denial, the Board agreed that the topic of fall practice start dates needs to be discussed further.

-          The Board approved a proposal that was initiated by the track and cross country coaches association that will alter the OHSAA's general sports regulations to allow an exception for student-athletes who compete in Special Olympics or Paralympics to remain eligible on their school teams and with the OHSAA.

-          By a 7-2 vote, the Board approved two proposals from the field hockey coaches association. First, to add an additional scrimmage permitted. Second, to allow regular-season games to begin on August 18 instead of the previously established start date of August 25.

-          Based upon an initial proposal from the volleyball coaches association, the Board approved a modified proposal that certified line judges be used at the state tournament whenever possible.

-          The regional and state tournament draws in softball and baseball were held. The pairings will be posted as additions to the tournament regulations posted at OHSAA.org.