COLUMBUS – The Ohio High School Athletic Association will add a seventh division in football.
The OHSAA Board of Directors approved the measure with a 6-3 vote on Thursday.
The new division will be in place starting in 2013.
The new Division I will include the top 10 percent of schools in enrollment. The rest of the state's 644 programs will be divided evenly among the other six divisions.
The playoffs in each division will continue to be comprised of 32 schools.
“Adding a seventh division not only helps address the enrollment disparity in Division I, but it also will create 32 more tournament opportunities for student-athletes, their schools and their communities, many of which have never or rarely experienced the playoffs,” OHSAA Commissioner Dan Ross wrote in an OHSAA press release on Thursday. “The committee members believe that this is an issue unique to football, especially since not all schools qualify for the OHSAA football tournament.”
The addition of a seventh division comes just a week after the OHSAA announced it would put a proposed competitive balance proposal to administrators of the member schools.
The OHSAA last added a division in 1994 with the addition of Division VI. In 1999 the playoffs were expanded from 16 to 32 teams, adding an extra round of postseason play, the OHSAA said in its release.