COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors approved a proposal Thursday that moves Division I high school playoff football games to Friday this upcoming season.
WCPO.com was the first media outlet in the state May 18 to report Division I was being considered for the move.
OHSAA Associate Commissioner Bob Goldring told WCPO.com the board approved playing Divisions I, II, IV and VI on Fridays and Divisions III, V and VII on Saturdays during the first four rounds of the football tournament.
The finals will also reflect that schedule (game times to be assigned later) with the exception of one of the Friday divisions moving to Thursday night at Ohio Stadium in December.
Games on Friday through the state semifinals will remain 7:30 p.m. kickoffs while Saturdays will remain at 7 p.m.
Cincinnati-area Division I football coaches expressed their satisfaction with the proposal.
“I am in favor of the move,” Lakota West coach Larry Cox said. “Ohio high school football is what Fridays are all about so in my opinion it is a good thing. I really don’t think it will affect interest or attendance. As fans, I believe people plan on Friday night football games. From the coaching side, it keeps things consistent with the kids’ schedules and the high school kids and coaches like consistency.”
Moeller coach John Rodenberg said since teams don’t have to wait on film anymore since it’s readily available online, it makes sense to play on Fridays.
“Some of the biggest college games are played during that part of the season and if the weather is bad it means the crowd is smaller (on Saturdays),” Rodenberg said. “High school football is meant to be played on Friday in my opinion.”
This season will be the first time since 1978 that Division I playoff football games (then called Class AAA) will be scheduled on Friday nights.
The OHSAA has traditionally scheduled Division I games for 7 p.m. Saturday, but the times often conflict with college football games, especially in larger cities of the state. Also, the OHSAA recently noted a decline in attendance for Saturday night games.
Full high school football practice officially begins Aug. 1 with games scheduled to start the week of Aug. 22.
The 19th annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown schedule will likely be announced the week of June 13, according to event organizer Tom Gamble.