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Not everyone wins in OHSAA Division Breakdowns

OHSAA announced on April 30 their preliminary divisional breakdowns for Fall sports. Naturally, some of your legacy programs believed that they were too good for any division lower than DI. Although schools like Elder High School and St. Charles Preparatory School have significantly lower enrollment than their D1 peers they petitioned to be moved up to their previously held D1 status in some sports including soccer. On the girl's side Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit moved up to D1. This was announced on 6/12/24 in this press release.

The real antihero in this story is Competitive Balance. Moving soccer from 3-5 divisions was supposed to help level the playing field by putting schools in divisions where they would be playing teams of similar size. As many have pointed out size doesn't matter when some programs have the advantage of increased resources. This is where Competitive Balance enters the scene, designed to help balance the impact of private schools who pull from an area outside of their natural geographic boundaries, a luxury where public and charter schools tend to miss the benefits. This factor moved schools with lower enrollment numbers up divisions based on the number of students (not number of athletes) enrolled. Causing schools like Walsh Jesuit to be positioned in DII with the lowest boys enrollment in the division by almost 50 students without CB they would have easily been a DIII program. Walsh is a program that has proven to be successful as a small school playing big programs and CB has probably positioned them in the most equitable space for their program and their opponents. However, where CB fails is in the positioning of Cristo Rey in Columbus an inner-city school serving underserved students who solidly would have sat in the middle of DV without competitive balance are now competing with the likes of Bexley and Tippecanoe in DIII.

For more information about OHSAA and 2024 Soccer Divisions you can visit the OHSAA Website:

In reality the divisions will never be perfect. Some schools will always have an advantage either based on resources or size. Good luck to everyone as we start this new HS Soccer season.

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