Building on the success of last year's inaugural event, the Ohio Open Duals is back for another year with a larger field that now includes a middle school division.

Building on the success of last year's inaugural event, the Ohio Open Duals is back for another year with a larger field that now includes a middle school division.

In all, 24 high-school teams and five middle-school teams are scheduled to attend the event, which will be Friday and Saturday at New Albany High School. Still, New Albany and Young Guns Club coach Marc Cofer said he doesn't want the meet to lose the personal feel it had last year with just 16 teams.

"I was going to keep it at 16 teams and I bumped it to 24, but I could have easily had 36 teams this year," Cofer said. "I like the idea that there's a lot of interest, but what I don't want to happen is kind of what happened to the (NHSCA Duals in Maryland). It gets so big you kind of lose that personal level to it. Pretty much all the coaches that come to this, we all know each other."

The event, which became the first offseason dual-meet tournament in Ohio last season, went almost as well as Cofer could have imagined in its inaugural running. Partly because of the success of last year's tournament, Westland also is planning to hold a similar tournament in June.

"It was a well-run tournament," Newark junior and Young Guns wrestler Brendan Leal said. "A lot of good kids will come out, and there was a lot of good competition from around the state. It was nice."

Last season, the Ohio Duals was held a week later, on Mother's Day weekend, and it was a Saturday-Sunday event. Other than those changes and the increased size overall, the high school meet will be run in similar fashion to last season's event.

The folk-style tournament will be broken up into two parts: a round-robin tournament and a three-match placement round. The teams will be broken up into four groups of six, and each team will wrestle a dual against all five other teams in its group.

The teams then will be ranked in each group based on their round-robin performance, and each team will wrestle in a four-team pool with other similarly-ranked teams. To compensate for the extra eight teams, the tournament will have matches on nine mats at a time, compared to eight last season.

The middle school tournament will be Saturday only, and each team will wrestle four matches.

Plenty of local wrestlers are expected to compete, including teams based out of New Albany (Young Guns), Dublin Coffman and Hilliard Davidson (Team UFC), Olentangy Liberty (Power Wrestling Club), Olentangy (Team Olentangy), Big Walnut (Vengeance East), Marysville (Team Rage), Delaware (Delaware Hammers), Hartley (Team Petrella), Teays Valley (TNT Wrestling), Bloom-Carroll (Team Punishers) and West Jefferson (West Central Wrestling Club). Among the other areas that will be represented at the event are Cincinnati, Medina, Lima, Toledo and Mansfield.

Nearly every team in the tournament has at least one state qualifier on its roster. Among those who placed at state this past winter are Caleb Marsh (Team Rage), Kyle Dilley, Christian Addis (Team Leathernecks), Chris Block, Zach Tinch, Brandon Gamucci (Team Suplex City), Andrew Boehm (Warrior Club), Casey Gordon, Caleb Messerall, Nick Brascetta, Taylor March, Randy Languis and Max Thomuseit (PWC White).

St. Charles junior Kyle Sanders, who was eighth in the state at 215 pounds last season, didn't wrestle with an organized team last offseason. He said from what he's seen, the Ohio Duals should provide a good opportunity to get plenty of matches in against some stiff competition.

"It sounded like a cool deal," Sanders said. "You get a lot of matches in two days, and it sounds like good quality."

Another aspect of this year's event that Cofer is excited about is its involvement with the Central District Officials Association.

All the money for officiating at this weekend's tournament will go to the association instead of individual referees. Because of that, more referees will be involved (each for a shorter period of time), and the veteran referees are planning on using the tournament as a sort of mentoring tool for the younger referees.

"It helps the Central District officials out, and they were impressed last year with it and how much experience their younger officials get," Cofer said. "In the summer, it's a little more low-key. I mean, (the kids) want to win, but the officials can officiate and the coaches know they might make mistakes. It's not the difference in not going to the state tournament or anything like that. It's good in that respect."

At a glance

Below are the details for the Ohio High School Open Duals:

•Who -- Twenty-four high school club teams from around Ohio, each with a full roster of 14 and as many as three alternates. Teams competing are: Young Guns, Suplex City, Team Petrella, TNT Wrestling, Warrior Club, Team Firelands, Nelsonville Hammers, PWC White, PWC Blue, Vengeance West, Vengeance East, Team Rage, Team NATI, Team Whippets, Viking WC, Team Punishers, Lima Brawlers, West Central WC 1, West Central WC 2, Monster Squad, Stinger Club, Team UFC, Delaware Hammers and Team Olentangy. Five middle school club teams also will compete. They are: TNT Wrestling Club, Young Guns, Team NATI, Future Intimidation and Lima Brawlers.

•What -- A two-day tournament in which each team competes in five round-robin duals and three more duals for placement

•When -- Friday and Saturday. Doors will open at 4 p.m. Friday, with matches beginning at 4:30 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, with matches beginnings at 7:45 a.m.

•Where -- New Albany High School