Ohio's 2020 high school football season will be comprised of just six games beginning Aug. 24 with every team eligible for the playoffs, according to a message from the Ohio High School Athletic Association's interim executive director, Bob Goldring, on Friday.
If the plan is approved by Gov. Mike DeWine, all teams will enter the playoffs beginning Oct. 9, and state championship games will be played no later than Nov. 21.
"Schools also will be afforded the opportunity to play 10 total regular-season contests — whether they continue regular-season games after they are eliminated from the playoffs or should they decide not to enter the playoffs — as long as they complete their season by November 14," Goldring's announcement read.
OHSAA's board approved the measure unanimously Friday.
“To both ensure we can offer students the opportunity to participate in education‐based athletes but do so with their best interests in mind, we believe this modified plan offers a positive solution by addressing many of the concerns of our member schools,” said Jeff Cassella, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors and athletic administrator at Mentor High School. “Those that are able to start their seasons on time will be able to do so. Those that are starting later can still have a season. Add in the option of all schools entering the playoffs and the possibility of schools still being able to play 10 regular-season contests, and this plan is helpful to virtually all of our schools.”
In a recent OHSAA membership survey, the highest number of responses to one of the questions posed of superintendents, principals and athletic administrators indicated that nearly 60% (890 of 1,498 respondents) favored reducing the regular season and maintaining full OHSAA tournaments, or maintaining the full regular season and maintaining full OHSAA tournaments.
In 2020, the number of playoff rounds will be dependent upon the number of schools entering the playoffs in each division. Schools eliminated from the OHSAA playoffs or that choose not to enter the OHSAA playoffs will have the option to schedule additional regular-season contests through Nov. 14, with a maximum of 10 regular-season contests permitted.
Here's what the 2020 season will look like:
- Regular season Week 1: Week of Aug. 24
- Regular season Week 2: Week of Aug. 31
- Regular season Week 3: Week of Sept. 7
- Regular season Week 4: Week of Sept. 14
- Regular season Week 5: Week of Sept. 21
- Regular season Week 6: Week of Sept. 28
- Playoffs begin Friday, Oct. 9
- State finals end no later than Saturday, Nov. 21
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