COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced a realignment of football regions after 664 schools opt-in for the playoffs, which are set to begin the weekend of Oct. 9.
Normally, the OHSAA said, 224 schools qualify for the playoffs, with eight schools from each of the state’s 28 regions earning a playoff spot.
Due to recommendations from the state, the OHSAA shortened the football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the OHSAA, head coaches in each region will vote to seed teams in their region beginning Sept. 29.
The teams will then be placed in brackets by the OHSAA on Oct. 1. Many higher seeds will have first-round byes in most of the regions, the OHSAA said.
Once the brackets are set, the top team on the bracket of a specific game will have the opportunity to be the home team for that game throughout the regional playoffs. If the top team cannot host, the other team will host.
If a team cannot compete in its scheduled playoff game, the opponent will move on in the bracket.
Sites for state semifinals and championships will be decided by the OHSAA.
Schools eliminated from the playoffs or those that decide not to play in them have the ability to schedule additional regular season games through Nov. 14.
Playoff games will be held Friday and Saturday nights beginning the weekend of Oct. 9 and 10. Divisions I, II, III, and VI will play on Fridays and Divisions IV, V, and VI will play Saturdays.
Spectator capacity limits will be in place for the OHSAA football playoffs for each game, with the association saying it will announce those details soon.
The new OHSAA football regions can be found on the association’s website.