Distict Disparity

Any further thoughts on ways to address the massive disparity between certain districts feeding the same region?

In the Central District 1, Westerville North didn't advance in the 4x8, despite running 8:02. Pick Central ran 8:06, also not advancing. In the Marietta District, which also feeds the Pick N Regional, the following times advanced - 8:41, 8:46, 9:00, and 9:06.

In that district, Connor Ackley alone could've advanced in the 4x8.

How is this fair? Westerville N could've lapped that 9:06 squad. And yet... nope.

I know this was discussed a bit on a different thread, but does it seem like OHSAA has any interest in taking a look at this?

I'm sure there are numerous other examples of egregious, annual differences between districts - beyond random chance and yearly talent dips and rises.

Thoughts?
 

ENA2

Active member
Again, if the Districts were seeded by the marks of the 4 x 800 relays then that event could be balanced...... then the best 6 Shot putters (or 110 hurdlers or high jumpers) could then be in the Same District. The question is, what event(s) do you seed? "Power rank" all the teams?
There is often an issue with "fairness" at many districts, but this also happen at Regional meets. Should we seed the State?
 
How many threads does this require?
I guess I was just wondering if the discussion is really going anywhere, if OHSAA is even considering adding at-larges to districts (as in has in the regional round) or perhaps a district reconfiguration, or... if it's just kinda pointless, like the endless talk of moving to 4 divisions.
 

galesxc

Active member
The issue "oncearunner" cites could be addressed in a manner that improves fairness and the quality of the field in all events for the Pickerington Regional. As of now, the Central District includes 51 teams, divided into three "subDistricts" of 17, each of which advances four entries to the Regional. The East/Southeast District includes 8 teams and also advances four entries to the Regional.

So... in Central District 1, 2 & 3 up to 34 entries (each) compete for four qualifying spots (~12% of entrants advance), while in the E/SE District 4 of 16 entries advance (25%).

A more equitable approach would be to advance the top two of 16 entries in the E/SE District (12.5%... close enough to the Central District ratio) and promote the two best remaining marks from any of the four districts to Regional competition. If the 3rd and 4th place finishers in the E/SE are worthy, they still get to advance.

Yes, weather factors may give an advantage to competitors on one day vs another, one location vs another, but 14 of the 16 spots would still be determined by place and the potential for #15 and 16 to advance because of a tailwind (or whatever) is less an issue than the current imbalance.
 

JAVMAN83

Well-known member
I'm in favor of keeping the current system...PLUS, the next fastest individuals/teams to fill out 3 heats of 8 at the region level and top 24 in the field events. Same principle for region to state. While not perfect, there will be a reduction in disparity most years.

As an FYI, there used to be an All-Ohio all-star meet post season (1964-80) that acted to invite the best in the state. That sort of addressed this issue in a way.
 

mathking

Well-known member
In Central District 1 we also had times of 4:15.x - 4:15.x - 4:18.x - 4:18.x and 4:18.x in the 1600. So an athlete ran 4:18 and did not advance. So I would be fine with a "next two best overall" or some other method that advanced the top 4 placers and then a few other athletes. Even though it was very close to being one of my athletes who didn't advance from that 1600 I would not want a state meet that was just the athletes who ran the 16 best times or had the 16 best throws. Conditions and resources will never be similar enough in outdoor track for that to be fair. And track and field is a sport. Beating your competitors should count for something. Winning team titles and runner up slots should matter.
 

CC Track Fan

Well-known member
The issue "oncearunner" cites could be addressed in a manner that improves fairness and the quality of the field in all events for the Pickerington Regional. As of now, the Central District includes 51 teams, divided into three "subDistricts" of 17, each of which advances four entries to the Regional. The East/Southeast District includes 8 teams and also advances four entries to the Regional.

So... in Central District 1, 2 & 3 up to 34 entries (each) compete for four qualifying spots (~12% of entrants advance), while in the E/SE District 4 of 16 entries advance (25%).

A more equitable approach would be to advance the top two of 16 entries in the E/SE District (12.5%... close enough to the Central District ratio) and promote the two best remaining marks from any of the four districts to Regional competition. If the 3rd and 4th place finishers in the E/SE are worthy, they still get to advance.

Yes, weather factors may give an advantage to competitors on one day vs another, one location vs another, but 14 of the 16 spots would still be determined by place and the potential for #15 and 16 to advance because of a tailwind (or whatever) is less an issue than the current imbalance.
In NW D3 there are districts that move 5 or 6 to regional meet. Just like is done with CC if not enough teams in E/SE to justify 4 qualifying to regional take some away and give to the bigger central districts.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
I guess I was just wondering if the discussion is really going anywhere, if OHSAA is even considering adding at-larges to districts (as in has in the regional round) or perhaps a district reconfiguration, or... if it's just kinda pointless, like the endless talk of moving to 4 divisions.
It is pointless. You have to learn how to get through the rounds. We had 3 state champions last year. our 4x800 ran an 8:26 at the District. We won the Regional and our time would not have qualified from one of the other Districts.

800m ran 2:08 round 1 then 2:02 for 4th at the District. Won the Regional, Was seeded 12th time wise going in from District.
He never once had to run to his potential time wise to win.

3200m runner ran about 30 seconds slower than his seed time to get through in the 3200 to the Regional.

To be honest, neither the 8:02 or 8:06 should make it out of the Regional. Would not have last year in D1, so the solution is to run faster. The teams that beat them out to qualify did their job when they needed to. I'm sure the teams that beat our times last year thought they deserved to be at the Regional over us. Not the case.

Get enough teams and a 4th division can happen.
 
Last edited:

mathking

Well-known member
Our 4:18 let up a bit before the finish line and learned a lesson the hard way. So be it, but there's no reasonable justification for 25% of the E/SE group advancing to the Regional when 12% advance from the Central District.
I agree. We could either reduce the number advancing from the E/SE Div 1 district or combine those schools with the central and have four districts, as has happened occasionally in the past when they dropped to fewer than 8 D1 teams. And good luck tonight galesxc!
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
Our 4:18 let up a bit before the finish line and learned a lesson the hard way. So be it, but there's no reasonable justification for 25% of the E/SE group advancing to the Regional when 12% advance from the Central District.
100%. It should all be closely proportional. Not a 12% -25% difference.
 

Supertramp

Active member
The more I think about it, the more I think we ought to have some sort of A standard for the State track meet, and then simply qualify by best times

The NCAA is based on times to get to preliminaries. So is the USA championship. And the Olympics. You have to run a fast enough time to get invited to the party.

I know many are apprehensive towards this, but that’s the only way I see we start making this more fair. Give the kids all season to run fast enough.

Until then, we’re going to be arguing about this every year.
 

tmk

Member
The more I think about it, the more I think we ought to have some sort of A standard for the State track meet, and then simply qualify by best times

The NCAA is based on times to get to preliminaries. So is the USA championship. And the Olympics. You have to run a fast enough time to get invited to the party.

I know many are apprehensive towards this, but that’s the only way I see we start making this more fair. Give the kids all season to run fast enough.

Until then, we’re going to be arguing about this every year.
It's worth mentioning that NCAA Division 1 advances their national qualifiers via a Regional now, using seasonal efforts to qualify to that meet.

This was to get away from a trend where an athlete had a great performance early in the season, then showed up at nationals in a form that was noticeably less than their qualifying effort. Direct time qualifiers to the state would deal with the same issue. The idea behind the NCAA regionals was to have the qualifiers be in at least some degree of the shape they qualified in.

D. 2 & D. 3 don't do this, but I would guess that has more to do with costs (both to the school and the NCAA) than competitive reasons.

There are probably some interesting concepts you could come up with working around all of these ideas - a regional level competition, with some effort based qualifying system, Etc. - but the OHSAA is not a group that works outside the box, fearing a precedent in one sport would result in changes in others.

The OHSAA has stated before that their concern is that each area of the state be represented, and not necessarily the 18 best kids statewide. So there is that.

I am a fan of additional qualifiers at the Regional level, though, based on performance. I can't imagine how schools would feel seeing someone a minute behind their effort qualify. A good kid (or relay) shouldn't be penalized based on geography, not if we have the means to at least fix the most egregious examples.
 

galesxc

Active member
Central District coaches have an opportunity to provide comments at the end of the season. I suggest we all use this opportunity to express our opinions on the current advancement procedure to the regional.
 

yj_runfan

Well-known member
The more I think about it, the more I think we ought to have some sort of A standard for the State track meet, and then simply qualify by best times

The NCAA is based on times to get to preliminaries. So is the USA championship. And the Olympics. You have to run a fast enough time to get invited to the party.

I know many are apprehensive towards this, but that’s the only way I see we start making this more fair. Give the kids all season to run fast enough.

Until then, we’re going to be arguing about this every year.
I assume you are in favor of dropping the two person limit from one school qualifying?
 

Testing

New member
You have this in every sport, from blowouts in state title games in football to weak weight classes in wrestling. Ask the MAC in football how many times it should be two schools from their conference in the finals. Fair doesn't always mean equal, everyone has a shot. Making varsity may be the goal for one kid, or just getting to regionals. If the argument is wanting a fifth or sixth place to make regionals just to run in prelims, I don't really get it. Every track season on our team we can find plenty of guys who could have make it to regionals or state if we just cherry pick the district or region, but that's not how it works and that not how it works in any sport. Things like travel are considered, nothing is getting any cheaper, gas, food, lodging especially if you are increasing travel, not to mention ticket prices
 

mathking

Well-known member
If the rule changed so that district to regional were "the four event winners in each region and the next X best marks/times at the district meet" I would be OK with that. Otherwise I would strenuously oppose such a change. I have posted the same idea many times here, but I will do it again. Taking the 'x' best marks from the season to the state meet, or even to the regional meet, would not be any more "fair" than what we have now. As a senior half of the meets my son's team went to were not automatically timed. Almost none of the meets had anywhere near the quality of competition that my team's meets had. His school would not have been able to afford to decide to travel all over the state (and to other states) to go to meets set up for really high level competition. I remember a year (I think 2016) where we had four or five consecutive meets with strong home stretch head winds. Enough that some coaching friends asked me "What's wrong with Abby Steiner? Her times seem slower." I remember another year where one of the regionals was into a super stuff head wind and another had a similar tail wind. Under our current system if you can beat all but three people in your region on the day of your event, you get to advance. You don't have to worry about conditions being different. If we moved to just having qualifying times and marks then we basically don't have a team sport any more. Winning an event, or moving from 5th to 3rd becomes kind of irrelevant if everything all season (until the last meet) becomes about getting one good time or one good mark.
 

Testing

New member
Totally agree, love being there watching the events, and letting the runners sort it out on the track. Hate the idea of virtual meets. Again I think the argument is for some kid who gets left out and misses running in lane 1 or 8 of prelims. Nothing is going to be perfect.
 
.
Top