Despite shutdown, OHSAA still looking at abbreviated spring schedule possibilities


GALION — Despite Gov. DeWine’s decision to extend school closures to May 1, the Ohio High School Athletic Association is still looking into a possible abbreviated spring sports season … of school starts up again before fall.

Here is a copy of memo sent to school administrators on Tuesday that covers spring sports, and beyond.

Yesterday’s announcement by Governor DeWine extended mandatory school closures through May 1. As a result:

The mandated No-Contact period has been extended through this date (May 1). This is to assist with the Governor’s ‘stay at home’ order, to prohibit coaches from privately meeting with student-athletes AND to put all schools on an equal level relative to future competitive opportunities.

It should be noted that the No-Contact Regulation was never intended to discourage or prohibit electronic communication with student-athletes. For the mental well-being of student-athletes, it is actually encouraged but is NOT intended for coaches to encourage any form of group gatherings or instruction.

No practices or competitions may occur through this date (May 1).

Since other events and activities are not permitted by the current Governor’s orders, we collectively believe we can continue looking at abbreviated schedules for spring sports. While cancellation remains on the table with all other options, there are many factors that enter into possibilities. Availability of venues for any events, Dept. of Health guidelines and Governor’s orders are all part of the equation. Under no circumstances will we compromise the safety of student-athletes, coaches, officials, game workers or fans. Everyone in the schools is aware of the extremely fluid situation and we will continue to update you as things change.

Simply so we are prepared, we have begun looking at:

Off-Season Regulations. In the event activities are permitted to begin in June or July, we are looking at adjusting off-season regulations to expedite a return to school-based athletic programs.

Fall Sport Issues. Again, I feel it is incumbent for our staff to look at every ‘what if’ and be prepared. In a worst-case scenario, if events/practices/training are shut down during or through the summer, the reality exists that many of the thousands of student-athletes may lack any high-level physical training. We need to look at what serves our student-athletes best relative to acclimatization periods. I want to stress that we are PLANNING for worst-case scenarios by identifying all the challenges we could potentially face.

We applaud all of you for helping with providing guidance and leadership to your coaches with the request they speak with their student-athletes (electronically of course) to convey to them the seriousness of the current crisis and an understanding that ALL of us are in this together and understand their emotions and desire to ‘get back.’

By Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer

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