Ohio High School Athletic Association
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
TO: OHSAA Member Schools’ Superintendents, Principals and Athletic Administrators
FR: Bob Goldring, Interim Executive Director
Good evening! As has been done previously, we wanted to provide updated information on the plan to begin our sports seasons on August 1.
First, we continue in conversations with the Governor’s Office on our plans to ensure we are in concert. Secondly, initial data received from our membership survey has been shared and is helpful to both the Governor’s Office and ours in the decision making. Additionally:
1.) We are on track for the low/non-contact sports of golf, girls tennis and volleyball to begin practices on August 1, with school vs. school scrimmages and contests to follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations.
2.) We are on track for the contact sports of football, soccer, field hockey and cross country to begin practices on August 1. We are waiting for more guidance from the Governor’s Office and Department of Health on when school vs. school competition can begin and are hopeful of that permission being granted for our normal contest dates later in August. To that end, school vs. school scrimmages are SUSPENDED. We do not anticipate that suspension changing soon and there remains the possibility that no scrimmages will be permitted in the contact sports of football, soccer and field hockey. We will certainly keep you updated if that changes.
Note: We continue to have conversations regarding the status of field hockey and/or cross country being placed into the low/non-contact category. Again, we will certainly keep you updated if that changes for either or both sports.
3.) Our discussions with the Governor’s Office are clear . . . If we want our student-athletes to learn the lifelong lessons and receive the social, emotional and physical benefits that the privilege of participating in education-based interscholastic athletics programs provide, we all have to be accountable for following all mandates and requirements. By not following the mandates and requirements, we are putting our student-athletes at risk of not only contracting and/or spreading COVID-19 but also at risk of losing the season for themselves, their families, their teammates, their schools and their communities. Mandates and requirements put into place must be followed in order for the Governor’s Office to continue to allow us to participate.
4.) To that end, the OHSAA is working to finalize contest day mandates and requirements that are to be strictly enforced, and our administrators, coaches and student-athletes will be held accountable for non-compliance. So as to not cause alarm, these mandates and requirements will be to elevate many of the recommendations that were provided in the OHSAA Return to Play Recommendations document to the level of mandates and requirements and should not require wholesale modifications to your game-day protocol.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time, and we will continue to provide updates as they become available!
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