COLUMBUS — While winter sports tournaments remain in limbo during a statewide shutout of schools, the Ohio High School Athletic Association sent out a memo Friday outlining its current plan for spring sports, too.
No practices in any sport are allowed during the statewide extended spring break, issued by Governor Mike DeWine in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the OHSAA memo issued by executive director Jerry Snodgrass. It goes into effect Monday, March 17 and extends until at least April 5.
“Given the rapidly changing events nationally and statewide, we are assessing the situation daily,” Snodgrass wrote. “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.”
Schools are tentatively set for an April 6 return, which will begin a five-day period of practices and/or acclimation. Regular-season games will tentatively begin April 11 with postseason dates unchanged.
However, Snodgrass noted those dates are contingent on schools resuming April 6.
In a separate memo to athletic director of basketball teams still in the postseason, the same rules apply to no practices being conducted during the next three weeks.
“We have no plans at this point to cancel the winter or spring tournaments,” that memo stated. “We are obviously working on logistics, and much will depend on what happens in the next three weeks, but at the end of the school year, we hope to have state champions crowned.”
Coaches also were encouraged to tell their players not to participate with any non-interscholastic teams, such as AAU, while their high school teams remain alive in the postseason.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.