The door is left open for winter sports tournaments to resume, but it will be at least another month before any type of organized high school athletics resumes statewide.
There still could be state champions crowned in 2020 in Ohio.
When that could be? That’s still to be determined.
A day after postponing the winter sports tournaments, in response to the coronavirus emergency, the Ohio High School Athletic Association left the door open to resume those events.
The OHSAA announced Friday it is delaying the start of spring sports for three weeks while it keeps the winter sports tournaments on hold.
"This is a very fluid process," Perry Athletics Director Scott Campbell said. "Obviously, a lot of us never dealt with anything like this. It seems like every minute there are new details coming our way and all this stuff that you're just trying to put all of this perspective and all of that."
Lake High School Athletics Director Joe Bogdan is encouraged that the OHSAA is "being measured" in it how is responding to the situation.
"Obviously, going down for three weeks is going to be tough on all the spring sports, but not completely pulling the plug yet is a good way to do things," Bogdan said. "In education, and in my job, we always try to be measured in our comments and our approach. You don't want to inject false information into an already emotional topic because it's hard to backtrack from that. Going slow is the way to go."
In an email to member school administrators throughout the state, OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass outlined the following:
OHSAA Regional and State Boys Basketball, State Girls Basketball, State Ice Hockey and State Individual Wrestling Tournaments
"As announced Thursday, the abovementioned 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 "noninterscholastic rule" remains in effect.
"Further, we have implemented indefinitely a nocontact 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 uptodate on a regular basis."
"A mandatory nocontact period is in effect for all schoolsponsored sports March 17April 5. Additionally, there will be a mandatory shutdown of facilities used for the purpose of conducting athletics activities from March 17April 5.
Spring Sport OutofState 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."
Related to out-of-state events, the OHSAA said:
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.
The new tentative timeline in place for spring sports, in accordance with the return to school date tentatively set by Governor DeWine for April 6, is:
April 6-10, Mandatory practices and/or acclimatization (if required);
April 11, All scrimmages/regular season contests may begin;
Postseason tournaments will remain on dates as currently scheduled.
So how might the three-week suspension of spring sports unfold for the athletes themselves?
"The expectation is that kids are working out on their own and keeping their conditioning and skill level up," Bogdan said. "But we don't want anyone doing anything outside the social distancing recommendations. The most important thing right now is letting the health experts tell us what to do. I never took a class in college on global pandemics affecting spring sports and, if I did, I slept through it. So we're going to let the experts give good advice and try to follow it."
Also, the OHSAA announced it will mail or deliver state tournament programs to the 16 girls teams, four hockey teams and all state wrestling state qualifiers who would have competed this weekend.