OHSAA Reaffirms Commitment to Starting Winter Sports


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OHSAA Reaffirms Commitment to Starting Winter Sports
Schools will continue working with local health departments regarding any pauses in participation

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a memo to its member schools on Wednesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association reaffirmed its position that the upcoming winter sports seasons will begin as previously scheduled. While individual school districts can pause sports at any time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OHSAA does not intend to alter the statewide season dates.

The decision came after discussions with the Governor’s Office, the OHSAA Board of Directors, OHSAA staff and many school administrators, along with the results of a recent survey of OHSAA member school administrators. Of 1,464 survey responses 826 respondents (56 percent) voted to begin winter sports as previously scheduled.

“Though we are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in Ohio, the majority of our member schools want the opportunity to move forward with winter sports as planned,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “As always, the decision to play sports is a local school decision and there will certainly be schools that pause sports for periods of time in the months to come, but if the majority of our schools want to move forward, then we want to provide that opportunity. As we have said previously, our member schools provide our student-athletes with the safest possible environment to participate. If we were to delay, students would find opportunities to compete in sports through non-school programs that may not be focused on safety and are not education-based.”

The survey results showed 33 percent of school administrators favored delaying winter sports until early January, and 11 percent voted to delay winter sports indefinitely until statewide COVID-19 conditions improve.

Noting the Governor’s Curfew Order
As it relates to school sports, the Governor’s 10:00 p.m. Ohio curfew order does not mean that teams and fans must be home from their competitions by 10:00 p.m., but venues must be vacated by 10:00 p.m. The OHSAA encourages schools and conferences to alter start times, if needed, so that competitions end in time to close the facility by 10:00 p.m.

COVID-19 General Guidance (Including Mandates; Spectator Capacity, and Recommended Best Practices)
All mandates in the Ohio Department of Health Director’s Sports Order must continue to be followed for winter sports. Here is a link to the Health Director’s Sports Order: https://bit.ly/2RWa1jh. In addition, here is a link to the Health Department’s Responsible RestartOhio guidance document for sports: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Youth-Collegiate-Amateur-Club-Pro-Sports.pdf, and here is a link to the ODH’s Responsible RestartOhio guidance document for sports venues:


It is especially important that requirements for facial coverings, social distancing and frequent hand washing be followed and that facility hosts disinfect and clean competition and high contact areas frequently. Also note that the Order has a limit on spectator capacity, which is the lesser of 15 percent of fixed, permanent seats or 300.

Winter Sports Requirements, Recommendations and Modifications
The OHSAA staff has developed sport-specific requirements, recommendations and modifications for schools when conducting interscholastic competition in winter sports. Links to the sport-specific requirements, recommendations and modifications for winter sports are available here:
Basketball: http://bit.ly/BKRecs Bowling: http://bit.ly/BORecs
Gymnastics: http://bit.ly/GYMRecs Ice Hockey: http://bit.ly/IHRecs
Swimming & Diving: http://bit.ly/SDRecs Wrestling: http://bit.ly/WRRecs


Well-known member
OHSAA said the same thing with Fall Sports...then they changed everything (assist DeWine). And what's up with them and late Friday afternoon releases?


Active member
Winter sports is in trouble. Hind sight is 20-20 but i think a lot of people are gonna just wait to compete till January. The holidays, cold weather, and flu season are gonna make it very tough. Especially with the 14 day quarantine of being in any contact with someone that has the covid. I think we may be getting ahead of ourselves starting the season in december. What do i know? I am sure a lot of you will tell me. hahaha


Well-known member
I’m old enough to remember:

We are proceeding with the State Tournament.
We are proceeding with the State Tournament but each competitor only gets two tickets.
We are cancelling the state tournament.
All in one week.

i will be very cautiously optimistic while waiting for the other shoe to drop.


Active member
Imagine wrestling at districts making the state tournament and you have to be quarantined because someone you wrestled had covid that weekend.


Well-known member
Imagine wrestling at districts making the state tournament and you have to be quarantined because someone you wrestled had covid that weekend.
Could happen . Each week is a new challenge. I coach cross country we had an athlete that was a returning 2x regional qualifier and was 1st team All conference the week before district. The friday night before district this year our whole team except 2 athletes were quarantined and my athlete who was top 20 in the regional and should have made state was one of them. Season over . I was the assistant coach but had to coach 4 weeks of the season because of trace contacting with our head coach and covid. He was placed in quarantine 4 separate times including the night before districts. He also did not get to coach at Conference.

How will many handle varsity spots if a kid gets quarantined ? Will that kid get the spot back right away ? Have another wrestle off? What if the back up is wrestling better then the kid that has been placed on quarantined.

I will be thankful for each week we get to compete and I get to coach. You never know how things will go. We had a scrimmage this weekend with 2 other teams glad we got it in but also made me nervous . We had groups that were made up already and documented with each kid for the groups.