COLUMBUS – The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s new competitive balance format caused one Greater Western Ohio Conference and one Midwest Athletic Conference team to drop a division for the upcoming football season.
The OHSAA will use a competitive balance format that was approved in 2014 for the first time during the fall 2017 season, affecting football, soccer and volleyball in the fall.
To calculate what division a team plays in during postseason tournaments, the OHSAA first uses the school enrollment numbers provided by the Ohio Department of Education. The OHSAA then modifies the initial enrollment count based on how student-athletes came to their school. Students who live outside the district but compete for a school cause a team’s adjusted enrollment account to increase. For a complete explanation of the format used, visit http://www.ohsaa.org/School-Resources/Competitive-Balance-Resource-Center.
Of the 718 schools that play football in Ohio, 75 moved up to a higher division due to competitive balance or a higher base enrollment number. No Darke County football teams changed divisions for 2017, but some of their conference rivals did.
Coldwater from the MAC and Vandalia-Butler from the GWOC were affected by competitive balance. Butler dropped from Division II into Division III because of competitive balance while Coldwater dropped from Division V into Division VI.
Other local teams were affected by enrollment numbers. Miamisburg moved up from Division II into Division I, West Carrollton dropped from Division II into Division III, Miami East moved up from Division VI into Division V, Covington moved up from Division VII into Division VI, and Fort Recovery moved up from Division VII into Division VI.
Perhaps the biggest change affecting local schools will be Coldwater’s switch from Division V to Division VI. The Cavaliers have made the playoffs 20 consecutive years and have made the state finals eight consecutive years.
Coldwater dropping out of Division V should make the path to the playoffs easier for Versailles, Miami East, Anna and the other Division V schools.
On the other hand, Coldwater dropping into Division VI likely makes the path to the playoffs more difficult for Arcanum, Bethel, Covington, Fort Recovery, Marion Local, National Trail, Parkway, St. Henry, Tri-County North, Twin Valley South and other Division VI teams.
With Coldwater, Marion Local and Fort Recovery now all in Division VI, the division has three schools that combined for seven state final appearances in the past three years.
Below are the divisions that football teams from the Cross County Conference, Greater Western Ohio Conference and Midwest Athletic Conference will play in during the 2017 season:
Twin Valley South
Delphos St. John’s
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.