Spring sports season delayed

The following is a memo, sent late Friday afternoon, from Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass to OHSAA member school administrators regarding the immediate future of OHSAA-sanctioned winter and spring sports:

Good afternoon to each of you in these challenging and unique times! This communication is to update you on several issues that are related to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s recent order mandating school closures beginning next week and their impact on school‐based athletics.

Please note this communication contains an attachment of “Q and A’s” that should address all questions you and/or coaches may have. Those can be found here: https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/Sports/OHSAASpr‐WinQ’sA’s.pdf

I am asking that you share this communication with your administrative team to include principals, superintendents and athletic administrators and be especially sure that all coaches are aware of the items in this communication.

OHSAA Regional and State Boys Basketball, State Girls Basketball, State Ice Hockey

and State Individual Wrestling Tournaments

As announced Thursday, the above‐mentioned tournaments are postponed indefinitely. Given the rapidly changing events nationally and statewide, we are assessing the situation daily. It is impossible to make a determination today … the reason for continuing them to be ‘postponed.’ If your team remain in the tournament, you need to remind them that the “non‐interscholastic rule” remains in effect.

Further, we have implemented indefinitely a no‐contact period, which prohibits 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.

Again, we are assessing this daily and we WILL keep you up‐to‐date on a regular basis.

All Sports

A MANDATORY no‐contact period is in effect for all school‐sponsored sports March 17‐April 5, 2020.

Additionally, there will be a mandatory shut down of facilities used for the purpose of conducting athletics activities from March 17‐April 5, 2020.

A couple key points to remember:

1.) We are RELYING on your communication with your coaches to ensure compliance. Bylaw 11 (Penalties) of the OHSAA Handbook outlines the ability to assess penalties for violation. Obviously, we do not want violations, which makes your oversight and communication vital.

2.) The OHSAA Non‐Interscholastic Rule is still applicable to all athletes, including spring sport athletes. For spring sport athletes, they are in violation of the non‐interscholastic rule if they participate in any non‐school sport in the same season if they have already participated in a scrimmage or contest for the school team in that sport. Additionally, at no time are they permitted to participate in any non‐school sport exceeding the 50% limitation defined in General Sport Regulation 7.

Spring Sport Out‐of‐State Travel

Obviously, this is highly discouraged, and we urge all schools to cancel these trips. We also know that it is impossible in a few cases to obtain refunds. In those instances, we have no choice but to permit that to continue. However, please note:

*Any contest played will be counted toward the total number permitted;

* No NEW trips may be scheduled that have not previously been scheduled, and

*It is highly recommended that the conditions outlined in Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton’s order be followed regarding the number of individuals permitted at the event (see the Q’s and A’s for more information).

With the return to school date tentatively set by Governor DeWine for April 6, the following will TENTATIVELY be in place:

* April 6 – 10 MANDATORY Practices and/or Acclimatization (if required)

* April 11 All Scrimmages/Regular Season Contests may begin

Tournaments will remain on dates as currently scheduled

Please note: Since the current situation is rapidly changing, any of these may need to be adjusted. IF they are, notification will go out immediately to schools.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.