Friday, August 16, 2013

OHSAA should consider dropping Roman numerals

Earlier in the week, one of my colleagues accidentally listed the Kirtland football team as Division V in a Tweet.

It had more to do with a smartphone typo on a short night's rest than not knowing what division the Hornets are in this year (VI). But it's an example of some confusion that will be happening from to time as high school football fans adjust to the new OHSAA lineup.

A seventh playoff division was added this year, giving us I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VII.

While the OHSAA is adding, it should also do some subtracting -- lose the Roman numerals in favor of numbers that are easier to read and type: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

The easy response is "Pay more attention to what you're reading," or "Don't go so fast."

I get that. But what I don't get is why Roman numerals are used in the first place. Perceived added prestige, I guess? The Super Bowl is the biggest event that uses them, and it's getting far enough along in years that you'll have to stop and think about it for a second unless you regularly use Roman numerals. The 2014 game will be XLVIII. That's 48.

The NCAA also uses Roman numerals for Divisions I, II and II. But you don't want to be using the NCAA as an argument in your favor anytime soon.

Getting back to the OHSAA, it's going to take awhile for fans to remember which division and region each school is in starting this season. Making it easier to follow on paper or on a screen would help, too.

-- Howard Primer


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