To make it easy, whatever region your school competed in last year, just add two.
That’s because, per the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s announcement last Thursday, the 2016 state football playoff format and regions have been set.
For the Ohio Valley Publishing area’s six Ohio schools, all half-dozen will remain within the same divisions as a year ago, but because of the creation of two new Division I regions, all schools statewide saw their region number change by two.
The only other aspect that did not change was geography, as each of the seven divisions will now feature four regions apiece.
In Division IV, Gallia Academy and Meigs move from Region 14 to Region 16, which essentially encompasses the entire southeast and southwest quadrants of the state.
In Division V, River Valley moves from Region 17 to Region 19, which concentrates on southeastern and eastern Ohio.
Southern, Eastern and South Gallia go from Region 25 to Region 27 in Division VII, which is also southeastern, eastern and even central-Ohio based.
Southern, Eastern and South Gallia — in fact — join the other five Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division schools in the Buckeye State in Region 27.
They include Miller, Belpre, Waterford, Trimble and Federal Hocking.
River Valley and Meigs are members of the TVC-Ohio Division, as River Valley resides in the same region next year as Alexander, Nelsonville-York and Wellston — with Athens and Vinton County being Division III, Region 11 clubs.
The Marauders also have key non-league contests against Jackson (Division III, Region 11) and Logan (Division II, Region 7) that could — with wins — bring a bevy of playoff computer points.
Gallia Academy, now a former member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League with Logan and Jackson, is in its inaugural football season in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Five of the eight OVC squads will be in Region 19 — Fairland, Ironton, Rock Hill, South Point and Portsmouth.
Oak Hill, along with Wheelersburg, Minford, Portsmouth West and Northwest from the Southern Ohio Conference, are also now in Region 19.
The only OVC schools smaller than Division V are Chesapeake and Coal Grove, which are both Division VI and in Region 23.
In April, the OHSAA Board of Directors approved changing Division I back to a four-region format instead of the two-region format that existed in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Along with establishing the 28 regions, the BOD — for 2016 — decided to move all Division I football playoff games to Friday nights in November for the first time since 1980.
Joining Division I on Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. will be playoff games in Divisions II, IV and VI, while Saturday games will include Divisions III, V and VII at 7 p.m.
For several years, attendance has decreased at Division I games in November, primarily due to some fans opting for college games, which include more night games.
In addition, fewer facilities are available on Saturdays due to other school functions or staff not being available.
Since 1980, Division I playoff games have been on Saturdays except for a few games in 2001 and 2006.
A total of 716 schools will begin the season in August aiming for one of 224 playoff berths announced on Sunday, Oct. 30.
The 2016‐17 school year is the second year of the OHSAA’s current two‐year enrollment and divisional alignment cycle.
During the 2016‐17 school year, the OHSAA will again work with the Ohio Department of Education to determine enrollment counts to be used for the next two‐year cycle (2017‐18 and 2018‐19 academic years).
Those new enrollment numbers will be combined with the competitive balance roster data that schools will submit on a sport‐by‐sport basis in football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball.
Information provided by the Ohio High School Athletic Association was used in this story.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106