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(8-15-19) COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced today that two upcoming basketball state tournaments will return to St. John Arena at The Ohio State University, including the 2020 girls basketball state tournament and the 2021 boys basketball state tournament.

Both state tournaments coincide with OSU’s spring break, which will allow for better parking options for spectators.

Over the past several years attendance for the boys and girls state basketball tournaments have been declining in attendance. St. John Arena seats almost 6,000 less fans then the current site Schottenstein Center.

The downside is that the future state basketball tournament schedule remains in limbo. After the 2020 season the OHSAA has not listed sites for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

The boys state tournament championship will switch to St. John Arena for 2021, but not site is listed for the following season in 2022.

Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Executive Director

“We are excited to return to St. John Arena, where many schools and basketball fans have great memories. 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, so we have been talking with OSU about returning to St. John Arena.”

2020 Girls Basketball State Tournament – March 12-14 at St. John Arena
2020 Boys Basketball State Tournament – March 19-21 at Schottenstein Center
2021 Girls Basketball State Tournament – To Be Determined
2021 Boys Basketball State Tournament – March 18-20 at St. John Arena
2022 Girls Basketball State Tournament – To Be Determined
2022 Boys Basketball State Tournament – To Be Determined

The OHSAA boys basketball state tournaments were held at St. John Arena from 1957-1985 and 1988-1998. The Schottenstein Center opened in 1998 and has hosted the boys basketball state tournaments since 1999. The OHSAA girls basketball state tournaments were held at St. John Arena from 1976-1985 and 1987-1999 before moving to the Schottenstein Center in 2000, where they have remained every year except 2005 when the girls returned to St. John Arena due to the OSU men’s ice hockey team hosting a conference playoff series at the Schottenstein Center.

St. John Arena has been unavailable for OHSAA district, regional and state tournament contests, as it has been the practice and competition home of OSU women’s and men’s volleyball, women’s and men’s gymnastics and wrestling teams. However, OSU’s new Covelli Center is now open, which is the new home for those OSU sports.

The OSU web site –

The 3,700 seat arena will serve as home to seven varsity sports: volleyball, gymnastics, fencing and wrestling. In addition, it will serve as the occasional venue for women’s basketball as well as serving as the host site for local tournaments and camps.

Starting on a Thursday, the 2020 girls basketball state tournament will be at St. John Arena March 12-14. The OHSAA’s 2020 individual wrestling state tournament at the Schottenstein Center will begin on Friday, March 13, and conclude Sunday, March 15. The 2020 OHSAA boys basketball state tournament will remain at the Schottenstein Center March 19-21.

The OHSAA did commit to continue to hold the State Wrestling Championships at the Schottenstein Center.

Snodgrass added

“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. 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.”

  • Schottenstein Center: 19,049
  • Nationwide Arena: 19,500
  • Wolstein Center: 13,610
  • UD Arena: 13,409
  • St. John Arena: 13,276
  • Nutter Center: 10,400
  • Cintas Center: 10,250
  • Convocation Center: 6,426
  • Millett Hall: 6,400

The OHSAA has had issues with State Championship sites, this past year the state football and baseball events took place in the Canton/Akron area in Eastern Ohio.