A Petition to the Ohio Capital Conference to re-open the realignment process to better reflect the OCC's original goals and to provide divisions which
A Petition to the Ohio Capital Conference to re-open the realignment process to better reflect the OCC's original goals and to provide divisions which are fair to all member schools.
Community members of the member schools of the Ohio Capital Conference petition and request the OCC Executive Board to re-open the re-alignment process since the most recently approved plan is greatly flawed on many aspects. This plan, if implemented, could lead to the disintegration of the league.
The purpose of the realignment should be to provide the best possible interscholastic competition for all the athletes in the OCC regardless of sport, socioeconomics or personal agendas. No school should be allowed to stack realignment in the favor of one or more of their sports at the expense of other school’s and their athletes.
We further urge the Executive Board to include input and suggestions from coaches from several sports from the various member schools and input from interested community members/fans of the schools.
The OCC has previously based their realignments on a combination of enrollment, geographical closeness and rivalries. The current OCC realignment committee mentions “competiveness” as a consideration in this realignment. The definition of “competitiveness” in terms of league play seems absent however. Even though the Committee claims competitiveness in this new plan, most of the new divisions will be far from competitive. For the most part, this realignment plan ignores enrollment, geography and rivalries' and, most importantly, their stated goal of competiveness.
(many thanks to the coaches and fans from several of the member schools who provided input for the below rationale.)
Examples/Points of concern/Rationale:
This realignment looks to benefit some schools (Gahanna, Pick Central, Pick North, Delaware, Olentangy,) at the expense of others. (New Albany, Westland, Central Crossing, Groveport in particular)
It should be noted that New Albany, Westland, Canal Winchester, Groveport and Hilliard Darby voted against this realignment.
- A Division 2 football school (New Albany) is placed in a division with all D1 schools including district powers Gahanna Lincoln & Pickerington North
- Meanwhile, a D1 school (Delaware) is placed in a division with all D2 schools. Delaware is placed in the small school division even though there are 4 schools (New Albany, Groveport, Hilliard Darby, Olentangy Berlin) which have smaller enrollments not placed in the small school division.
- Four of New Albany’s new division mates rank in the top 8 in terms of enrollment while New Albany ranks 24th in enrollment and is the largest school not in the small school division.
- Groveport is ranked 23rd in league enrollment while Reynoldsburg is #2 in enrollment
- Top 6 schools based on enrollment: Gahanna, Reynoldsburg, Dublin Coffman, Grove City, Westland, Central Crossing. (Olentangy Orange is 7th)
Geographical Inconsistences: Many schools are worried about transportation costs and this plan does nothing to aide in that area.
- Newark & Lancaster will have longer drives to Central Crossing than to Gahanna. (and vice-versa for Central Crossing.)
- Central Crossing to Lancaster: 38 miles
- Central Crossing to Newark: 50 miles
- Gahanna to Newark: 25 miles
- Gahanna to Lancaster: 30 miles
- Westland & Grove City will be forced to travel to 3 Northeast side schools (Westerville Central, New Albany & Gahanna). Gahanna, New Albany & Westerville Central will have long drives to Westland & Grove City.
- Westland to Westerville Central: 29 miles
- Westland to New Albany: 30 miles
- Westland to Gahanna: 22 miles
- Grove City to Gahanna: 23 miles
- Canal Winchester will have a longer drive to Delaware (and vice-versa) than to New Albany (or Groveport)
- Canal Winchester to Delaware Hayes: 48 miles
- Canal Winchester to New Albany: 19 miles
- If Delaware was moved to a division with Olentangy, Olentangy Berlin, Thomas Worthington and Dublin Jerome, it would greatly reduce their travel times as opposed to Canal Winchester and Franklin Heights.
Longtime rivalries are eliminated including Gahanna/Reynoldsburg; New Albany/Big Walnut; Delaware/Olentangy plus new, growing rivalries like Groveport/Canal Winchester; Gahanna/Pickerington Central; Westland/Central Crossing.
According to the Realignment Committee Chairman: “the conference’s athletics directors were given a survey and asked to rate their requirements for an acceptable realignment. Competitiveness was rated as the most important issue."
But the question becomes what do they mean by “competitiveness.” Does it mean:
- all teams in a division being competitive with each other
- does it mean spreading out the most competitive teams and stacking divisions with less athletically successful schools to balance the stronger schools and the weaker schools?
- Are we talking overall competitiveness of all of a school’s athletic teams or just the major sports of football, boys basketball & girls basketball.
- Are the divisions being stacked to benefit certain schools
But the new divisions are anything BUT competitive:
- Westland, one of the less athletically successful programs in the OCC, is placed in a division with league powers Gahanna Lincoln, Pickerington North & Westerville Central.
- Central Crossing & Groveport, two of the less athletically successful in the OCC, are placed in a division with powers Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg & Lancaster.
- If you are “spreading out the less athletically successful teams,” then why are there no weak teams in one division (Coffman, UA, Davidson, etc.
- Why does Pickerington Central stand out in so many sports as the team to beat out of the teams in their division?
- Olentangy stands out above all the rest in their division in most sports.
- Gahanna & Pick North have won far more OCC & District championships in the last 5 years than the other four of their division combined.
- Wouldn't placing the least athletically successful teams in the same division not create more competitiveness and thus provide encouragement for the athletes of those schools. (as opposed to being soundly defeated on a regular basis by the other teams in their league.)
- Placing stronger programs together in one division would also have the effect of creating teams which will perform better in Regional and State Tournaments due to the increased level of competition for a league title.
Data: Based on compiling data of tournament rankings of the 31 existing OCC teams over the last 5 years in the 7 team sports of football, girls volleyball, boys soccer, girls soccer, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball and softball:
- The top 6 most successful programs in the OCC are: Dublin Coffman, Gahanna Lincoln, Olentangy Liberty, Pickerington Central, Olentangy, and Westerville Central. (with Hilliard Davidson coming in 7th.)
- The bottom 6 are Franklin Heights, Westland, Central Crossing, Groveport, Thomas Worthington and Big Walnut.
- So, using the Competitiveness argument, Coffman, Gahanna, Liberty, Pick Central, Westerville Central and either Olentangy or Hilliard Davidson should make up a division.
- Over the last 5 years and looking at the 7 sports listed individually:
- Gahanna is in the top 7 in 6 of the sports
- Dublin Coffman is in the top 7 in 6 of the sports
- Pickerington Central is in the top 7 in 5 of the sports
- Olentangy Liberty is in the top 7 in 5 of the sports
- Olentangy is in the top 7 in 4 of the sports (plus two more in the top 10 of their sports)
- The bottom four spots are occupied by Westland, Franklin Heights, Central Crossing, Groveport or Thomas Worthington in 24 of the 28 slots between the 7 sports.
If the goal is to be competitive, then a definition is needed and the realignment needs re-examined. If not, then the OCC should return to using enrollment, geography and rivalries in determining divisional alignments.