SCIOTO COUNTY — Truth be told, the Valley High School baseball and softball —and South Webster softball —programs probably foresaw these springtime changes coming — even clear back in early summer.
After all, if up or down a division a basketball program moves, and in the Jeeps’ case volleyball too, then the likelihood is greater their baseball or softball programs follow suit.
And, for better or worse, that’s exactly what happened to the Indians’ units — and to the Jeeps for softball.
That’s because, on Tuesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced the new divisional breakdowns for the upcoming spring sports (2022-23 academic year) — which for Scioto County, that use competitive balance data, are solely softball and baseball.
The OHSAA Board of Directors approved the new divisions during its September meeting late last week.
Right off the top, the Valley Indians —both baseball (to Division III) and softball (to Division IV) —are changing divisions due to their EMIS number for both, while the Jeeps jump up to Division III in softball because of their EMIS number as well.
The Education Management Information System (EMIS) is a statewide data collection system for Ohio’s primary and secondary education, including demographic information, attendance, course information, financial data, and test results.
The OHSAA uses enrollment data provided by the Ohio Department of Education to determine each school’s base enrollment numbers for girls and boys sports, which will be used for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.
Among the OHSAA’s spring sports, only baseball and softball utilize competitive balance data, and therefore it is reconfigured every season.
Sports that do not utilize competitive balance data are reconfigured every two years.
South Webster won its first Southeast District softball championship in two full decades this past spring —but did so as a Division IV program, as the Jeeps lost in a Region 15 semifinal to eventual state champion Strasburg-Franklin.
But the Jeeps’ 2023 softball adjusted enrollment is at 127 — given a 2021 EMIS number of 113 and a 2021-22 CB number of 14.
The lowest adjusted enrollment for Division III softball teams is 116, as Valley is one of three teams with an adjusted enrollment at 114 —tying the Indians for the second-largest program in all of Division IV.
There are four teams at 115, as Valley’s EMIS number of 109 and competitive balance number of five resulted in its change.
For the Indians’ baseball program, which were the Division IV Region 15 champions for 2021, that year’s EMIS number was 122 —as eight was Valley’s CB number for a baseball adjusted enrollment of 130.
The lowest adjusted enrollment for Division III baseball clubs was 123, as the Indians —on paper per their projected returning experience —were a definite threat to repeat their state semifinal appearance of two years ago, had they remained in Division IV.
Now, the road in Division III just got a lot tougher —with Wheelersburg and Minford already in that division, and already in the Southern Ohio Conference Division II with them.
The Valley basketball boys — which were the Division IV Southeast District champions last season after runner-up honors two years ago — are jumping up to Division III for the 2023 tournament, thanks to their EMIS number and adjusted boys basketball enrollment figure of 126.
South Webster went up to Division III in both volleyball and girls basketball, while likewise the Lady Indians dropped to Division IV in hoops.
A complete report on the divisional changes for fall and winter sports appeared in the June 15 edition of The Portsmouth Daily Times.
More about the competitive balance process is posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/School-Resources/Competitive-Balance-Resource-Center.
For the other Scioto County schools, Portsmouth (III), West (III), Minford (III), Northwest (III), Wheelersburg (III), Clay (IV), East (IV), Notre Dame IV), New Boston (IV) and Green (IV) all remain the same for baseball and softball —as does South Webster baseball in Division IV.
Wheelersburg, in Division III softball, will be defending its state championship in the spring —as West in Division III softball, Notre Dame in Division IV softball, and Fairland for Division III baseball were 2022 regional runners-up.
For the first time, the OHSAA’s spring sports will also include boys volleyball.
There will be two divisions of boys volleyball due to the spike in the number of schools now having a team, which has gone from 85 to almost 160 schools — since the OHSAA announced earlier this year that it will sanction the sport.
2023 OHSAA Spring Sports
Boys Tennis – two divisions, no competitive balance: https://www.ohsaa.org/sports/boystennis
Track and Field – three divisions, no competitive balance: https://www.ohsaa.org/sports/track
Softball – four divisions using competitive balance: https://www.ohsaa.org/sports/softball
Baseball – four divisions using competitive balance data: https://www.ohsaa.org/sports/baseball
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Information from the Ohio High School Athletic Association was used in this story.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved