How Many Athletes are Needed for a Track & Field Team?
Is it time for the Ohio High School Athletic Association to reconsider how they determine if a high school has a track & field team? The OHSAA requires a school to have 9 athletes entered in the District Track & Field Championships for them to count that school as having a team, even though one athlete can score in the District Championships giving that school a team score and a place in the District Track & Field Championship. In 2015 a school with only 7 boys on their track & field roster won the State Championships, even though the OHSAA didn't recognized that school has having a track & field team. There also have been a number of State Track & Field Championships won for their school even though they only had one athlete competing and scoring at the State Track & Field Championships.
Every State surrounding Ohio - their high school associations only requires one athlete for their association to count that school as having a track and field team. I was told "Since one athlete can score we count that school as having a team (in cross country 5 athletes are required to have a team score - so 5 athletes are needed to be counted as a team).
My educated guess - if Ohio followed other States high school associations requirement of only needing 1 athlete to determine if the school is counted as having a track and field team - Ohio would have @780 high school boys track & field teams. THUS, the OHSAA would be forced to have 4 divisions instead on 3 (When 750 schools sponsor a sport the OHSAA has 4 divisions) . This Spring a school with only 305 boys in the bottom three grades will be forced to compete against a school that has 1,350 boys in the bottom three grades.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association's mission is to regulate and administer interscholastic athletic competition in a fair and equitable manner while promoting the values of participation in interscholastic athletics as an integral part of a student's educational experience. If the OHSAA doesn't count all schools with a track & field team and add a fourth division are they following their mission statement of Fair and Equitable? (Again 305 boys competing against 1,350 boys in track & field). In football there are 7 divisions for 716 teams.
Note: From the OHSAA magazine
The plan for adopting an additional division (in football) was in response to a concern by some OHSAA member schools about the enrollment disparity that exists in Division I, where the current range is 494 males at the lower end of the division to 1,164 at the top. Based on current enrollment data, the lower end of Division I would increase to 600 males. (Again boys track & field has 305 competing against 1,350)