by Cassie Mattia

Cassie Mattia is the Associate Editor of Loveland Magazine and lives in Historic Downtown

Columbus, Ohio – High school winter sports are a go in the state of Ohio! On November 20th the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) sent out a memo to schools confirming that the up and coming winter sports season would begin as scheduled.

The OHSAA memo read, “While individual school districts can pause sports at any time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OHSAA does not intend to alter the statewide season dates. The decision came after discussions with the Governor’s Office, the OHSAA Board of Directors, OHSAA staff, and many school administrators, along with the results of a recent survey of OHSAA member school administrators. Of 1,464 survey responses, 826 respondents (56 percent) voted to begin winter sports as previously scheduled.”

According to the survey, 33 percent of Ohio’s school administrators wanted to post-pone winter sports until early January, while 11 percent voted to post-pone winter sports indefinitely until Ohio’s COVID-19 conditions got significantly better.

The OHSAA made sure to mention the Governor’s Curfew Order in the memo as well stating, “the Governor’s 10:00 p.m. Ohio curfew order does not mean that teams and fans must be home from their competitions by 10:00 p.m., but venues must be vacated by 10:00 p.m. The OHSAA encourages schools and conferences to alter start times if needed so that competitions end in time to close the facility by 10:00 p.m.

OHSAA has made it very clear since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that their number one priority is the safety of the student-athletes, coaches, and fans. In order to continue interscholastic competition during the winter sports season OHSAA developed “sport-specific requirements, recommendations, and modifications.” Below are the links to each winter sports requirements, recommendations, and modifications provided by OHSAA.

Basketball: http://bit.ly/BKRecs

Bowling: http://bit.ly/BORecs

Gymnastics:  http://bit.ly/GYMRecs

Ice Hockey: http://bit.ly/IHRecs

Swimming & Diving: http://bit.ly/SDRecs

Wrestling: http://bit.ly/WRRecs

Swimming & Diving: http://bit.ly/SDRecs

Although Ohio’s High school winter sports seasons are allowed to continue as planned, for the time being, OHSAA was sure to include in the memo Friday mandates, spectator capacity, and recommended best practices per the Ohio Department of Health Director’s Sports Order (https://bit.ly/2RWa1jh). OHSAA’s memo read, “It is especially important that requirements for facial coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand washing be followed and that facility hosts disinfect and clean competition and high contact areas frequently. Also note that the Order has a limit on spectator capacity, which is the lesser of 15 percent of fixed, permanent seats or 300.

If you would like to read the Health Department’s Responsible Restart Ohio Guidance Document for Sports click the following link: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Youth-Collegiate-Amateur-Club-Pro-Sports.pdf.

If you would like to read the Health Department’s Responsible Restart Ohio Guidance Document for Sports Venues click the following link: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Sports-Venues.pdf

For the latest OHSAA COVID-19 sports updates stay tuned to the Sports 411 with me, Cassie Mattia!

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