COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the football regions and schedule format for the 2017 playoffs. New in 2017, all playoff games during the first four rounds will be played on Friday nights.
Also announced was the format for the state championship games, which will be played Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
The new regions and playoffs format were approved June 1 by the OHSAA Board of Directors at their June meeting as part of the 2017 football tournament regulations. New divisions were announced on April 6.
“For a few years, now we have studied the possibility of moving all playoff games to Friday nights for the first four rounds,” OHSAA Assistant Commissioner Beau Rugg said. “Due to so many more college football games being played on Saturday nights, attendance at our Saturday playoff games has steadily declined, and more potential playoff sites have said they cannot host games on Saturdays. We now have enough playoff sites to handle all the games on one night, and the football coaches association was in support of this change, too, because teams will get to stay on their normal weekly schedule of playing on Friday night.”
Locally, the only high school football program affected by the OHSAA’s Competitive Balance changes was Carroll, which moves from Division III to Division II. They’ll join Greene County schools Xenia and Fairborn in Region 8. Carroll was one of 22 Ohio high schools to move up to Division II.
Beavercreek remains the area’s lone Division I program, Xenia, Carroll and Fairborn are now together in D II, Bellbrook stays in D III, Greeneview remains in Division V and Cedarville stays in Division VII.
According to the OHSAA, the first official day of high school football practice is scheduled for Monday, July 31. The regular season starts Aug. 21.
Story provided by OHSAA Director of Communications Tim Stried.