OHSAA suspends scrimmages in four contact sports

JARROD ULREY
julrey@thisweeknews.com
Hartley junior Daniel Tooson participates in a drill during football practice at the school Aug. 3. On July 28, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that scrimmages for contact fall sports have been suspended indefinitely.

In an update sent to school administrators July 28, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced scrimmages in four fall contact sports have been suspended.

Practices for all fall sports are “on track” to begin Aug. 1, according to the announcement.

The update said the suspension of scrimmages is in effect for field hockey, football and boys and girls soccer. Although boys and girls cross country is considered a contact sport, traditionally no scrimmages are permitted by the OHSAA.

According to the update sent by Bob Goldring, interim executive director, the OHSAA is “waiting for more guidance from the Governor’s Office and Department of Health on when school vs. school competition can begin and are hopeful of that permission being granted for our normal contest dates later in August.”

The OHSAA doesn’t anticipate the suspension changing soon and it is possible that no scrimmages will be permitted in the contact sports, the update said.

Also according to the memo, the low/non-contact sports of boys and girls golf, girls tennis and girls volleyball have been cleared to have scrimmages and contests against other teams.

The OHSAA has been having discussions with Gov. Mike DeWine and his staff about changing the status of field hockey and cross country to low/non-contact, although no timetable for a decision has been announced.

The OHSAA has been working to finalize contest-day mandates and requirements that are to be strictly enforced and that administrators, coaches and student-athletes will be held accountable for non-compliance, the memo said.

“If we want our student-athletes to learn the lifelong lessons and receive the social, emotional and physical benefits that the privilege of participating in education-based interscholastic athletics programs provide, we all have to be accountable for following all mandates and requirements,” Goldring said. “By not following the mandates and requirements, we are putting our student-athletes at risk of not only contracting and/or spreading COVID-19 but also at risk of losing the season for themselves, their families, their teammates, their schools and their communities. Mandates and requirements put into place must be followed in order for the Governor’s Office to continue to allow us to participate.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek