by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, Ohio – With Ohio High School 2020-2021 sports seasons set to start on August 1st, coaches, parents, fans, and student-athletes are wondering when school vs. school competition will be allowed to resume. That particular question was answered on Tuesday when the OHSAA sent out a newsletter confirming that for the time being all contact-sport school vs. school scrimmages will be suspended.

The OHSAA’s Interim Executive Director, Bob Goldring, stated in the newsletter that the goal is to work with the Governor’s Office to make sure everything that they are implementing for the 2020-2021 sports seasons will be “in concert.”

OHSAA’s Interim Executive Director, Bob Goldring

“We are on track for the low/non-contact sports of golf, girls tennis and volleyball to begin practices on August 1, with school vs. school scrimmages and contests to follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations,” Goldring said, “We are on track for the contact sports of football, soccer, field hockey and cross country to begin practices on August 1. We are 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. To that end, school vs. school scrimmages are SUSPENDED. We do not anticipate that suspension changing soon and there remains the possibility that no scrimmages will be permitted in the contact sports of football, soccer, and field hockey. We will certainly keep you updated if that changes.”

Goldring said that the OHSAA plans on continuing to have conversations about both field hockey and cross country being put into the low/non-contact category.

After speaking with the Governor’s Office, Goldring explained that one thing was very clear, the end goal is to make sure Ohio’s student-athletes get the opportunity 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. 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,” Goldring said.

According to Goldring, the OHSAA has been working hard to finalize contest day mandates and requirements that he says will be strictly enforced.

“Our administrators, coaches, and student-athletes will be held accountable for non-compliance. So as to not cause alarm, these mandates and requirements will be to elevate many of the recommendations that were provided in the OHSAA Return to Play Recommendations document to the level of mandates and requirements and should not require wholesale modifications to your game-day protocol,” Goldring added.

If you missed the OHSAA Return to Play Recommendations click on the following article link we released last week: https://www.lovelandmagazine.com/ohsaa-releases-updated-covid-19-return-to-play-recommendations/.

As rules and regulations change within the sports world due to COVID-19, here at Loveland Magazine we will continue to bring you the latest updates so that you and your family know what to expect if your child or someone you know is participating in Ohio High School athletics this year! Stay tuned to the Sports 411 With Me, Cassie Mattia!

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Columnist Cassia Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland