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Taking a closer look at the OHSAA competitive balance proposal

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Staff Report

The following is a glance at the inner-workings of the new OHSAA competitive balance proposal.

For a story on the proposal, click HERE.

Ohio high school sports are divided into divisions based on enrollment. This way big schools play big schools and small schools play small schools, leading to more competitive equality. 

Some contend private schools, like Catholic high schools, have an extra advantage because they often pull from a larger geographical area than their public counterparts. This plan seeks to address and correct that perceived imbalance.

Here is a brief overview of how the plan would work, based on a information revealed in a conference call with OHSAA commissioner Dr. Dan Ross.

Non-public High Schools 
(Catholic high schools)

The 2013 proposal hooked private schools to the public district in which they were located. The 2014 version allows that option, or the option to designate a feeder school or parish instead. Only a single feeder may be designated.

Ross used Columbus DeSales baseball as an example, giving a hypothetical enrollment number of 350. DeSales is located in the Columbus Brookhaven attendance zone. In his scenario, the baseball team had a 25-man roster. Of those, 18 are from the designated feeder parish of St. Paul. Those 18 could alternately be located within the Brookhaven zone, depending on which system DeSales chose. Five more have been a part of the Catholic school system since seventh grade, but are not from St. Paul’s or the Brookhaven zone. The remaining two are from outside Brookhaven’s zone or St. Paul, depending, and haven’t been at DeSales since seventh grade.

The 18 from the feeder school or within the district count as a zero and add nothing. The five from another Catholic school other than the designated feeder count as one each, just as an open enrollment student could count at a public school. The two from outside the zone or feeder who haven’t been there since seventh grade get the sport specific factor, five in baseball’s case, and count for 10.

The new number to determine their divisional placement would be 365.


Public Schools Districts with one high school

A high school that is the only one in its public school district can have students on respective rosters from throughout the entire district without a multiplier.

If the school accepts students from outside the district, a sport specific factor would be multiplied by the total of those players and that number added to the enrollment count. The exception here is that if an out of district student has been open enrolled in said public school’s district since seventh grade, while still living outside of it, he/she would add only a count of one to the school’s number.

Commissioner Ross used Columbus Grandview as an example.

It is the only high school in its district and he assigned it a hypothetical enrollment number of 150.

Considering it had a volleyball roster of 20 students, with 10 living in the district, five living outside, and five living outside but having enrolled in the district since seventh grade.

The 10 within the district add nothing to the enrollment total. The five living outside but having been enrolled since the seventh grade each add a factor of one, for a total addition of five to the count. The five living outside the district and not having been enrolled since seventh grade get a sport specific multiplier, five in the case of volleyball so they add 25.

With no additions for the first 10, five for the next five and 25 for the final five, their new enrollment number would be 180.


Public schools in districts with more than one HS

The same three factors apply.

Ross used Columbus Brookhaven’s basketball team as an example, giving the school a hypothetical enrollment number of 400.

On a 30-student roster, 20 live in the Brookhaven attendance zone. Five live in the district, but out of Brookhaven’s zone. The other five are from outside the district and have not been there since the seventh grade.

The 20 in the Brookhaven zone count nothing against the enrollment number. The five from outside their zone, but still within the district add one per student. The five from outside each get a sport specific multiplier (five for basketball) for 25. So the new number to determine divisional placement is 430.

This sidebar originally appeared in the April 2014 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.

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