COLUMBUS — In a press release by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Tuesday afternoon, the state of Ohio’s high school sports governing body announced there would be limited spectators at weekend’s high school girls basketball state tournament at St. John Arena in Columbus as well as various indoor sporting events across The Buckeye State.
This action comes in response to the latest update given on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the state by Ohio governor Mike DeWine earlier Tuesday afternoon.
“Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday afternoon that all indoor sporting events in Ohio, including high school, collegiate and professional sports, shall continue without most spectators in attendance as Ohio seeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19,” the OHSAA said in their release. “This will be a very difficult time for our schools and fans, but we cannot ignore the directive of the Governor,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said. “We are pleased that our tournaments can continue and we will soon determine who can attend. However, we can already say that it will most likely be no more than the immediate family of the student-athletes participating in the event.”
Boys basketball regional tournament games scheduled for Tuesday night can proceed with fans. The OHSAA will announce Wednesday morning how the tournaments will proceed moving forward.
More information will be released as soon as possible, including the process for tickets already sold and what kind of media coverage will be permitted at the state tournaments.
The OHSAA girls basketball state tournament begins Thursday at St. John Arena, the wrestling state tournament begins Friday at the Schottenstein Center and the ice hockey state tournament begins Saturday morning at Nationwide Arena.”
DeWine’s statement occurred nearly an hour prior to the OHSAA’s announcement.
In a Twitter post, DeWine recommended the following: “ATHLETICS: For indoor events, we are asking for no events with spectators other than the athletes, parents, and others essential to the game. Right now, outdoor events can continue. #COVID19.”
Dayton is currently scheduled to host the “First Four” March 16-17 as part of the opening rounds of the 2020 NCAA Tournament as Cleveland is one of eight sites for the second and third rounds of the 2020 NCAA Tournament to be held Friday, March 20th and Sunday, March 22nd.
No update was given on the future status of these events at the time of Governor DeWine’s statements.
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