COLUMBUS — The OHSAA announced Friday that high school football will play a shortened six-game schedule if competition is approved by the Governor’s office.
According to the press release, the shortened regular-season schedule will begin as previously announced the week of Aug. 24. and finish the week of Sept. 28.
As part of this adjusted schedule, all teams will eligible to compete in the playoffs beginning Oct. 9 with the state championship games being played no later than Nov. 21.
Schools are allowed to keep their first six previously scheduled games, but all regular-season football contracts are now voidable by either school if conferences choose to adjust their schedules.
Additionally, while every team has the option to participate in the playoffs, they also have the option to opt out of the playoffs and schedule regular season games up until Nov. 14 for a maximum of 10 regular season games.
Schools have until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17 to determine their participation in the playoffs and they may withdraw from the playoffs without penalty until Thursday, Sept. 24. New playoff regions will be drawn on Friday, Sept. 18.
“To both ensure we can offer students the opportunity to participate in education-based athletes but do so with their best interests in mind, we believe this modified plan offers a positive solution by addressing many of the concerns of our member schools,” said Jeff Cassella, President of the OHSAA Board of Directors and athletic administrator at Mentor High School. “Those that are able to start their seasons on time will be able to do so. Those that are starting later can still have a season. Add in the option of all schools entering the playoffs and the possibility of schools still being able to play 10 regular season contests, and this plan is helpful to virtually all of our schools.”
A decision has not been made yet on spectators at contact sports, though the OHSAA added that they believe parents, at a minimum, should be able to attend.
Four low-contact sports, including golf, tennis, volleyball and cross country have been permitted to have contests between schools.
Along with football, field hockey and soccer have been determined to be high-contact sports and have not yet been approved for contests between schools.
• The number of playoff rounds will be dependent on the number of schools entering the playoffs in each division. Coaches in each region will seed all playoff teams in the region to form a bracket, similar to other OHSAA sports.
• Playoff seeding will be via a vote of the coaches the week of Sept. 28. Harbin Ratings have been suspended for 2020 season.
• All playoff contests through the regional semifinals, and possibly the regional finals, will be hosted by the higher seeded team.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles