Saturday, August 31, 2013

If OHSAA had solved competitive-balance sooner, seventh football division wouldn't have been needed

The competitive-balance controversy in Ohio high school sports might finally come to an end with a take-it-or-leave-it vote in 2014.

If the debate had been settled a couple years ago, I wonder if the football playoffs would have been expanded.

When the new seventh division has come up in conversation this summer, most of the reactions from people who didn't know about it were along the lines of: "Huh?" "Really?" "Why are they watering it down?"

The additional bracket wasn't added to keep pace with Ohio's slow population growth or solve any geography problems (if anything, it created geography issues).

It's all about competitive-balance. Bigger Division I schools vs. smaller D-Is, public vs. private -- take your pick or fill in your own. Handing out another trophy is supposed to help solve those problems.

It doesn't, though. It just makes us wonder what the difference between Divisions V and VI is.

If the OHSAA membership could have agreed on a competitive-balance proposal -- a boundary multiplier, for example -- and included the smaller Division I for football, it would have been better than creating another division.

Would it have been perfect? Of course not. But as we've found out during the competitive-balance discussion, there isn't an ideal solution.

- Howard Primer


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