COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) has announced details for the 2018 football regional assignments and playoffs schedule, including the location for the state championship games. The OHSAA will return to using Saturday nights for several divisions during the playoffs and the 2018 title games will return to the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
The OHSAA Board of Directors approved school playoff regional assignments and the playoff schedule on Wednesday, June 6 during its June meeting and authorized the OHSAA Executive Director’s office to finalize the contract with Visit Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to host the 2018 finals. The regional maps, which show the number of schools within each region and the lists of schools in each region are posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/sports/football.
In November, playoff games in Divisions I, II, III and VI will be played on Fridays. Division IV, V and VII playoff games will be played on Saturdays. Last year, the OHSAA experimented with having all playoff games on Friday nights during the first four rounds. In addition, all playoff games will kick off at 7 p.m. Previously, Friday playoff games kicked off at 7:30 p.m.
“We still have good attendance throughout the playoffs, but the overall total attendance dropped in 2017 when we moved all the games to Fridays,” said Beau Rugg, OHSAA Director of Officiating and Sport Management and the OHSAA’s football administrator. “Some parts of the state liked staying away from Saturdays for playoff games, but we also received quite a bit of feedback, mainly from the smaller schools, that they hoped we would return to having games on Saturdays, too, so their communities could see two games per weekend instead of one.”
The specific dates and times for the state championship games in Canton will be announced after the state semifinals held on November 23 and 24.
2018 OHSAA Football Schedule
Monday, July 30 – Start date for practice (5-day acclimatization regulation in effect)
Sunday, August 5 – Mandatory day off
Tuesday, August 7 through Saturday, August 18 – Scrimmages permitted
Monday, August 20 – Regular season games may begin
Saturday, October 27 – Regular season ends
Sunday, October 28 – Final computer points posted and playoff qualifiers announced
Friday, November 2 – Regional Quarterfinals in Divisions I, II, III and VI
Saturday, November 3 – Regional Quarterfinals in Divisions IV, V and VII
Friday, November 9 – Regional Semifinals in Divisions I, II, III and VI
Saturday, November 10 – Regional Semifinals in Divisions IV, V and VII
Friday, November 16 – Regional Finals in Divisions I, II, III and VI
Saturday, November 17 – Regional Finals in Divisions IV, V and VII
Friday, November 23 – State Semifinals in Divisions I, II, III and VI
Saturday, November 24 – State Semifinals in Divisions IV, V and VII
Thursday, November 29 through Sunday, December 2 — State Championship Games at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton
Other highlights from the 06/06/2018 OHSAA Board Meeting
By a 9-0 vote, the board approved the 2018 football tournament regulations, which include the new playoff regions, schedule and format. The new divisional assignments were announced in January. The board also approved by a 9-0 vote the OHSAA Executive Director’s Office to complete the contract with Visit Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to host the 2018 football state championships.
The board received the attendance and financial reports from the 2018 state tournaments in girls and boys basketball, bowling, gymnastics and ice hockey. In boys basketball, the total paid attendance was 89,442; down from 100,392 in 2017. The total paid attendances in girls basketball (29,884), bowling (2,826), gymnastics (1,360) and ice hockey (3,507) were nearly the same as 2017.
Since the board’s last meeting, 10 member schools were penalized for committing infractions of OHSAA bylaws or sports regulations.
New board of directors members for 2018-19 will begin their two-year terms on August 1 and include: Jeff Cassella, Athletic Administrator at Mentor High School; Dan Leffingwell, Superintendent of Noble Local Schools (Sarahsville); Leonard Steyer, principal of Chillicothe Southeastern High School and Jan Wilking, Athletic Administrator at Cincinnati Wyoming High School. Outgoing board members include: board vice-president Rhonda Rickelman, Director of Auxiliary Planning at Gates Mills Gilmour Academy; Walt Skaggs, Superintendent of St. Clairsville-Richland City Schools; Tony Deem, Superintendent of Southern Local Schools (Racine) and board president Paul Powers, Athletic Administrator at Aurora High School.