Columbus City Schools: Winter sports to remain paused until at least Jan. 23

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Columbus City Schools

All extracurricular activities for Columbus City Schools students, including winter sports, will remain paused until at least Jan. 23. 

During a board of education meeting Jan. 5, Superintendent Talisa Dixon said the district is following an advisory from Columbus Public Health that recommends continuing to postpone extracurriculars because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

“We want our students to participate in extracurricular activities,” Dixon said. “I get it. It’s a tough decision. We don’t make these decisions lightly. We follow the guidance of Columbus Public Health and they have given us advisement. We do not have to follow that advisory. However, we have chosen to. … It has not been easy and we have understood the consequences of the decisions we make.” 

Dixon emphasized during the meeting that the winter sports season, which includes boys and girls basketball, wrestling, swimming and diving and bowling, has not been canceled, but will continue to be postponed. 

Athletes in those sports are not allowed to practice or participate in contests. 

Also during the board meeting, it was determined that a separate meeting to discuss extracurriculars likely will be held during the second full week of January at a yet to be determined date. 

The OCC and CCL paused the beginning of winter sports until Dec. 18, but most programs were allowed to continue practicing during that time and all of central Ohio's other school districts other than Columbus currently are competing.

City programs had been practicing based on the OHSAA calendar until the district paused winter sports in late November. 

If the winter season begins Jan. 24 for City League programs, girls basketball teams would have only one week of competition and boys basketball teams would have only two weeks of competition before the postseason seeding meetings are held. 

Sectional competitions in swimming and bowling are expected to be held during the second week of February, with the wrestling postseason to begin a week after that. 

Vincent Clarno, the district's director of student activities, said during the board meeting that he’ll be communicating with coaches and athletics directors. 

"I’ll be meeting with our coaches this week like I have been throughout the process,” Clarno said. “Our coaches will sit down with my team, the athletic directors, and we’ll all talk about the challenges they see and ways we’ll collectively move forward on the decision that was made. … We have multiple options we can explore even with the Jan. 24 or 23 date (being the earliest teams can compete).” 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek