The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced at a press conference on Thursday that it is maintaining the indefinite postponement of winter sports tournaments and spring sports play, all in the continued effort to fight the spread of the current coronavirus pandemic.
OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said there is still a window for the winter sports tournaments in state girls basketball, state ice hockey, state wrestling and regional and state boys basketball to continue, but “the window is closing.”
Snodgrass did say, however, that a decision on the winter sports tournaments — which earn an estimated $1.4-1.5 million for the non-profit organization — will be made in the next 24 to 48 hours.
“I do not want to lead people on,” he said.
It was also announced that all sports will proceed with the current three-week no-contact period coinciding with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s directive to close schools until Monday, April 6.
Under the three-week no-contact period, the OHSAA is “prohibiting any coach, paid or volunteer, approved by the board of education to provide coaching, instruction or supervising conditioning and physical fitness programs or open gyms to members of a school team in their sports.”
Snodgrass added to that on Thursday to clarify the OHSAA does, however, encourage coaches to stay in contact with their athletes electronically to prescribe workouts to do on their own.
In-person team practices for spring sports are currently set to resume on April 6, with the first scrimmages and contests set to begin on Saturday, April 11. As of now, the schedule for spring sports tournaments will remain the same.
“It’s not about denying kids the opportunities,” Snodgrass said. “It’s about attacking this virus the way we need to do it.”
“This is emotional for everyone,” he went on to say. “This is our life, too, and this is what we do every single day, is work for our kids. ... But we have to, as the governor said, ‘It’s here, and we have to fight the war.’ And we will do that.”