Format for 2013 state finals approved

The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors has approved a recommendation from the OHSAA regarding the seven-division format for the 2013 football state championship games.

During its regular monthly meeting Jan. 10, the Board of Directors sanctioned that one game will be played Thursday evening, Dec. 5, three games will be played Friday, Dec. 6, and three games will be played Saturday, Dec. 7. The games will be held at Fawcett Stadium in Canton and Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon before shifting to Ohio Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

The game times and the assignments for each division regarding which location, date and time slot its championship game will be played have yet to be determined, the OHSAA said in a press release.

The OHSAA announced last April that it was expanding the football playoffs to seven divisions, starting in 2013. The playoffs have consisted of six divisions since 1994.

As a result of the expansion, an additional 32 teams will qualify for the playoffs, raising the total number of playoff qualifiers from 192 to 224.

A committee will finalize the details of the new format, including adjustments to the Harbin Computer Ratings and regional breakdowns.

Under the new format, the top 10 percent of schools based on enrollment will remain in Division I, with the remaining schools divided evenly among the other six divisions. Division I will be comprised of 72 teams, with each of the other divisions averaging about 108 schools.