The OHSAA will return to using Saturday nights for several divisions throughout the first four rounds of the playoffs — and the state title games will return to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
The OHSAA Board of Directors approved school playoff regional assignments and the playoff schedule Wednesday during its June meeting, and authorized the finalizing of the contract with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Canton to host the championships.
The regional maps, which show the number of schools within each region, and the lists of schools in each region are posted at ohsaa.org/sports/football.
In November, playoff games in Divisions I, II, III and VI will be played on Fridays, while Div. IV, V and VII playoff games will be played on Saturdays. Last year, the OHSAA experimented with having all playoff games on Friday nights during the first four rounds. In addition, all playoff games will kick off at 7 p.m. Previously, Friday playoff games kicked off at 7:30 p.m.
“We still have good attendance throughout the playoffs, but the overall total attendance dropped in 2017 when we moved all the games to Fridays,” said Beau Rugg, OHSAA Director of Officiating and Sport Management and the OHSAA’s football administrator.
“Some parts of the state liked staying away from Saturdays for playoff games," Rugg added. "But we also received quite a bit of feedback, mainly from the smaller schools, that they hoped we would return to having games on Saturdays, too, so their communities could see two games per weekend instead of one.”
The specific dates and times for the state championship games in Canton will be announced after the state semifinals Nov. 23 and 24.
2018 OHSAA football schedule
July 30: Start date for practice (Five-day acclimatization regulation in effect)
Aug. 5: Mandatory day off
Aug. 7-Aug. 18: Scrimmages permitted
Aug. 20: Regular-season games may begin
Oct. 27: Regular-season ends
Oct. 28: Final computer points posted and playoff qualifiers announced
Nov. 2: Regional quarterfinals in Div. I, II, III and VI
Nov. 3: Regional quarterfinals in Div. IV, V and VII
Nov. 9: Regional semifinals in Div. I, II, III and VI
Nov. 10: Regional semifinals in Div. IV, V and VII
Nov. 16: Regional finals in Div. I, II, III and VI
Nov. 17: Regional finals in Div. IV, V and VII
Nov. 23: State semifinals in Div. I, II, III and VI
Nov. 24: State semifinals in Div. IV, V and VII
Nov. 29-Dec. 2: State championship games at Canton