The OHSAA announced today (May 17) that all 24 referendums recently presented for vote by its member schools have passed.  Included was a change to the Competitive Balance formula, which is currently used by the OHSAA to classify schools for the post-season playoffs in various sports.  But don’t expect the change as it relates to football to result in moving large numbers of teams up or down a division.


Competitive Balance was introduced by the OHSAA a few years ago in response to (1) public school allegations of recruiting being performed by several parochial schools and (2) perceived advantages in sports that parochial schools enjoy over their public school counterparts .  As a compromise measure to avoid separating the playoffs, the OHSAA elected to introduce a formula that would adjust the base enrollment of a given school to account for both the number and types of transfer students that play a selected sport.  The adjusted enrollments would then be used to determine in which division each school then competes in the post-season.  Note that different formulas are used for public and parochial schools.

For public schools, the base enrollment would be adjusted upward by “1” for each student that open-enrolled in the school district prior to the 7th grade.  This is defined as Tier 1.  In addition, the enrollment would  be adjusted upward by “2” for each student that open enrolled in the school district in the 7th grade or after.  This is defined as Tier 2.

For parochial schools, Tier 1 is for students that attended a parochial grade school since the 7th grade, but not the one designated as the high school’s “feeder school.”  Tier 2 is for students that did not attend a parochial grade school or enrolled in a parochial grade school after the 7th grade.

The Change

Previously, a school was required to submit the roster of players across all grades 9-12 for the effective sports season.  The roster would then be used to calculated the Tier 1 and Tier 2 adders.  Now, incoming freshmen are not to be included on the roster, unless they participated on the varsity team during the previous year as an 8th grader.  Also, the adder for Tier 2 has been increased from “2” to “3.”

In spite of the increase in the value of the Tier 2 adder from “2” to “3”, don’t expect much change in the adjusted enrollment.  For example: assume that a school currently has 20 open enrollment students across four grades.  Previously, the total adder for Tier 2 would be 20 x 2 or 40.  With freshmen now omitted, the proportioned number of open enrollment students would now be 15.  Thus, the total adder for Tier 2 is 15 x 3 or 45.  No changes would be made to the Tier 1 part of the formula, the total of which would actually decrease proportionally as noted above.  As you can see, not much of a change.

So chalk this one up to an appeasement to the coaches, whose lives just got a little easier when it comes time to report rosters.  But it still does nothing to fix the imbalances that exist in several of the divisions, especially Division 1.