Spring sports shut down through April 6

R-H Staff

COLUMBUS – Last week Ohio High School Athletic Associaiton Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass issued a memo to member schools updating them on the current situation with the COVID-19-virus as it relates to OHSAA sponsored activities.

Effective immediately, all spring sports will be shut down until at least Monday, April 6.

“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,” Snodgrass said in the memo. “Please note this communication contains an attachment of “Q and As” 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.”

According to Snodgrass, 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.

Snodgrass continued: “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 percent 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,”Snodgrass said. “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 and As 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.”

“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,” Snodgrass said.

OHSAA Regional and State Boys Basketball, State Girls Basketball, State Ice Hockey and State Individual Wrestling Tournaments

The release continued: “As announced Thursday (March 12), 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 remains 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.

“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,” Snodgrass said. “Thank you for your attention to this matter.”

R-H Staff