There is a glimmer of hope for the thousands of high school student-athletes across Ohio who compete in spring sports.

CORRECTION: Because of a reporter's error, the site of the state baseball tournament was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.

There is a glimmer of hope for the thousands of high school student-athletes across Ohio who compete in spring sports.

On April 8, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that it has a tentative plan in place for an abbreviated season. However, the plan is contingent on students returning to their classrooms May 4.

Adhering to Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order, the OHSAA’s no-contact period, which began March 17, remains in place through at least May 1 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The OHSAA stated in a release on its website that “spring sports will be cancelled” if school buildings remain closed for the rest of the school year and that “if for any reason specific sites are shut down due to governor’s orders, ALL sites will be shut down and a tournament will not be held.”

“We are just hopeful our spring teams get the opportunity to compete this year,” Dublin Jerome athletics director Joe Bline said.

Under the OHSAA’s plan, each of its sanctioned spring sports — baseball, softball, boys and girls lacrosse, boys tennis and boys and girls track and field — would have an acclimation period from May 4-8, with the regular season beginning May 9 and the state tournaments taking place over the final three weekends of June.

The first day of coaching for baseball, softball, lacrosse and track and field was Feb. 24, while boys tennis had its first day of coaching March 9.

“If the Governor and Ohio Department of Health deem it safe to reopen school facilities in early May, then we will have a shortened spring sports season that extends into June,” OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said in a release April 9. “I commend our sports administration staff for putting the schedules together working on state tournament sites.”

The baseball postseason would begin May 23, concluding with the state tournament June 19-21 at Canal Park in Akron, and the softball postseason would get underway May 30 and finish with the state tournament June 25-27 at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

The lacrosse postseason would begin May 26 and wrap up with state finals June 13 at Ohio Wesleyan, while the tennis postseason would get underway with sectional competition May 30 through June 6 and close with the state tournament June 18-20 at Hilliard Davidson.

The track and field postseason would open with district competition June 9-13 and conclude with the state meet June 26 and 27. Division I would be held at Hilliard Darby, Division II would be at Pickerington North and Division III would be at Westerville North.

The state track meet has been held at Ohio State the past 16 years, but Ohio State announced April 3 that it has canceled in-person university events until July 6.

Boys volleyball is not an OHSAA-sanctioned sport but features 90 teams statewide, including 35 from the Central District. The Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association is adhering to the OHSAA’s no-contact period through at least May 1 but has yet to announce a contingency plan for its season.

According to Gahanna girls track and field coach Roger Whittaker, the updated timeline for spring sports could help unsigned seniors who are “desperately trying to draw college coaches’ attention.”

“The weather would definitely help the situation in all spring sports I would imagine, but in track and field, it would allow Ohio to get a chance to compete in the same climate conditions as the high school athletes down south get all year long,” Whittaker said. “A short time to get into state-meet condition, but definitely doable.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek