Ohio high school football playoffs expanded to 12 teams per region in 2021

File photo (WBNS-10TV)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – More teams will be playing for a state title next year under an expanded high school football playoff approved by the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday to expand the football playoffs from eight schools per region to 12 beginning in the 2021 season.

During the first round of the playoffs, the top four seeds will have a bye, while the No. 12 seed will play at the No. 5 seed, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8.

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The expansion will increase the number of football playoff qualifiers from 224 to 336. Last year there were 709 schools in Ohio that played 11-man football, according to OHSAA.

“We still have details to work out regarding the format and specific season dates, but this vote by the Board gives us the green light to finalize those details for 2021,” said Beau Rugg, Senior Director of Officiating and Sport Management for the OHSAA and the Association’s football administrator. “We are thankful for the Board’s support on this proposal, which will bring all the great things of playoff football to 112 additional schools and communities.”

The football finals in 2021 are expected to end during the same weekend as previously scheduled (Dec. 2-5).

Schools will still be permitted to play 10 regular-season games.

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