by Cassie Mattia
Columbus, Ohio – Since the COVID-19 outbreak athletes all over Ohio have been awaiting the decision on whether or not their sport will continue with competitions. On Thursday, OHSAA’s Director of Communications Tim Stried, Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass, and the rest of the OHSAA staff worked together to release a statement confirming that all OHSAA winter tournaments would be moved from postponed to canceled. Stried specified that the wrestling, basketball and ice hockey winter tournaments would not be completed. As unfortunate as this is for many Ohio High School athletes it is a matter of health and safety at the end of the day. Below is a statement from Tim Stried regarding the cancellation of the winter tournaments.
“The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that the winter sports tournaments of wrestling, basketball and ice hockey, which were postponed indefinitely on March 12, are now canceled due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that schools will not be able to reopen for many weeks, which prevents interscholastic athletics from taking place.
The start of the OHSAA’s spring sports of softball, lacrosse, baseball, track and field, and boys tennis is still postponed, which coincides with schools not being open.
Earlier Thursday, OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass and his staff communicated with the schools that were still competing in those winter tournaments to announce the decision.
‘We are just devastated that the tournaments cannot be completed,’ said Snodgrass. ‘But our priority is the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, communities, and officials. Governor Mike DeWine is asking all Ohioans to do everything they can to stop the spread of this virus. That request, along with our schools not being able to reopen for weeks, means that school sports cannot happen at this time. Even if our schools reopen this spring, it will be difficult to find facilities willing to host the tournaments. Most campuses are shut down until mid to late summer. We are already planning for ways that these student-athletes will be honored at next year’s state tournament,’ said Snodgrass.
The 16 schools that qualified for the girls’ basketball state tournament and the four teams that qualified for the ice hockey state tournament will all receive state tournament programs. The 672 student-athletes who qualified for the wrestling state tournament will all receive a program, certificate and weigh-in card.
These four winter state tournaments and a few events during World War 2 (1941-45) are the only sports cancellations in the history of the OHSAA, which was founded in 1907.
No state champions will be listed for these four sports in 2020. The OHSAA does not use state polls from the media or coaches associations to determine state champions.
A reminder that OHSAA coaches can communicate electronically with their student-athletes, but no practices, scrimmages or contests of any kind are permitted until further notice.
On March 13, Snodgrass sent this memo to member schools: https://www.ohsaa.org/news-media/articles/ohsaa-winter-and-spring-sports-update
More information regarding spring sports will be provided when available.”
If you would like more information on the latest announcements and Ohio High School sports updates you can visit www.ohsaa.org. If you would like to check out OHSAA’s social media pages you can visit twitter.com/OHSAASports or facebook.com/OHSAASports.