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How the Ohio High School Athletic Association is preparing for the football postseason

Posted at 3:55 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 16:08:35-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio high school football teams have until this Thursday night to opt-in to the postseason, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Those schools will inform the OHSAA of their plans to participate in the postseason through the myOHSAA website. The football regions will be determined this weekend and be announced publicly next week.

Football teams in all seven tournament divisions will have until Sept. 24 to opt-out of the postseason.

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The OHSAA will organize the tournament seed meeting with coaches the week of Sept. 28. The brackets are scheduled to be posted Oct. 1.

Schools that have a “bye” in the first round may schedule a regular season game, according to the OHSAA.

Divisions I, II, III and VII will have football games on Friday throughout the playoffs starting Oct. 9. Divisions IV, V and VI will play on Saturday.

The OHSAA anticipates the Division I state final will be held the weekend of Nov. 13.

Division I would likely finish before the other six divisions because it has fewer teams - a total of 71 this fall, according to Joe Eitel. The other divisions would finish the following weekend.

The OHSAA has not announced a venue for the state football finals this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be played at multiple locations given the limited attendance capacity requirements set forth by the Ohio governor's office.

OHSAA senior director of operations Bob Goldring, who was the OHSAA interim executive director earlier this summer, said in mid-August it was premature to speculate on where the state football finals will be held this season. He said at the time that smaller college venues or high school sites would also be an option.

"I think it's safe to say that odds of us being at one site for all of our championships are probably not very high right now," Goldring said Aug. 19.

If a team is not able to participate in a postseason game within a day or two of the original date, the OHSAA will work with those schools on a possible rescheduled opportunity.

If that can't be obtained, the game will be vacated and the other team will advance to the next round of the postseason.

The OHSAA previously announced that all eligible teams are able to make the 2020 postseason. That is the first occurrence where every team is eligible since the playoffs started in 1972.

Schools eliminated from the OHSAA playoffs or that choose not to enter the OHSAA playoffs will have the option to schedule additional regular-season contests through Nov. 14, with a maximum of 10 regular-season contests permitted.