OHSAA Expanding Football Playoffs

The Ohio High School Athletic Association is expanding the football playoffs.

Beginning this fall, the number of playoff qualifiers will increase to 16 schools per region.

Since 1999, eight schools in each region have qualified for the playoffs.

The expansion will double the number of football playoff qualifiers from 224 up to 448.

“Last fall we received overwhelmingly positive feedback when we allowed every team to enter the football playoffs due to the shortened season because of COVID-19,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute.

“We know there are some who want to keep the football postseason to a smaller number of schools, but the postseason tournament gives such a positive experience for our student-athletes, the schools and their communities that we felt strongly about giving that opportunity to more schools to make the playoffs. And football remains the OHSAA sport in which not every team automatically qualifies for the postseason.”

Also, the higher seeded team will host first and second round playoff games, instead of only the first round, before neutral sites are used beginning with the regional semifinals.

The OHSAA is also exploring adding a strength of schedule component to the Harbin computer ratings, which are used to determine the playoff qualifiers.

A strength of schedule component could be added in 2022.

The first Friday of the regular-season is August 20th, and the regular-season will conclude on Saturday, October 23rd.

2021 OHSAA Football Playoff Schedule:

October 29-30 First Round at Higher Seeded Teams
November 5-6 Regional Quarterfinals at Higher Seeded Teams
November 12-13 Regional Semifinals at Neutral Sites
November 19-20 Regional Finals at Neutral Sites
November 26-27 State Semifinals at Neutral Sites
December 2-5 State Championships, Site TBD, one game Thursday, two games each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday