The Ohio boys and girls state basketball tournaments are on the move.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced on Thursday the girls state basketball final fours will switch from Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center to OSU’s nearby St. John Arena in Columbus this coming season.
The boys basketball state final fours will remain at the Schott for 2020, but also will move to St. John Arena in 2021.
“The Schottenstein Center and its staff have been great partners of the OHSAA, but there are some upcoming scheduling conflicts with OSU basketball and ice hockey teams on our state tournament dates, as well as parking concerns,” OHSAA Commissioner Jerry Snodgrass said in a statement. “We are excited to return to St. John Arena, where many schools and basketball fans have great memories.”
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That was not unexpected. Reserving the Schott has been a challenge for the OHSAA. The OSU men’s and women’s basketball and hockey teams practice and play at the Schott and retain facility rights as those teams go further in the postseason.
More St. John Arena open dates became available with the opening of OSU’s new Covelli Center, which is located just north of OSU’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and about one mile from St. John Arena. Previously, OSU women’s and men’s volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling teams have played and practiced at St. John Arena. Those sports have switched to the Covelli Center.
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The individual state wrestling tournament will remain at the Schott in mid-March. The state dual wrestling tournament will continue to be held at St. John Arena in mid-February.
The state football championships moved from OSU’s Ohio Stadium to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton in 2017.
St. John Arena was the site of Ohio’s boys basketball state final fours from 1957-85 and 1988-98. The tournament was held at the University of Dayton Arena in 1986-87.
The girls state basketball final fours were at St. John Arena from 1976-85 and 1987-99. They have remained at the Schott every year since except in 2005, when moved to St. John Arena due to a conflict with OSU’s men’s hockey team in a Big Ten playoff series.
The girls state basketball final fours will be March 12-14 at St. John Arena this coming season and the boys state final fours will be March 19-21 at the Schott. The boys state final fours will switch to St. John Arena on March 18-20 in 2021, but the location for the girls final fours for that season have not been determined.
The location for the girls and boys state basketball final fours in 2022 also have not been determined.
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“We anticipate that our individual wrestling state tournament will remain at the Schottenstein Center for years to come, but our basketball state tournaments are more flexible and the scheduling conflicts at the Schottenstein Center those weekends are a reality,” Snodgrass said. “We will continue to discuss our basketball state tournaments format and scheduling with our staff, Board of Directors and the staff of the Schottenstein Center and Ohio State University Athletics Department. We will work together to ensure our state tournaments remain premier events.”
St. John Arena is located on Woody Hayes Drive next to Ohio Stadium. It was completed in 1956 and has a seating capacity of 13,276.
Last season, Minster (28-1) defeated Ottoville 53-37 to win its second straight girls Division IV state title. Carroll (D-II) and Waynesville (D-III) both lost in girls state championships.
Top-ranked Trotwood-Madison (27-2) defeated No. 2 Columbus South 77-73 to win the boys D-II state championship. It was the Rams’ third straight state final four and first title. St. Henry (D-IV) was eliminated in the state semifinals.
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