OHSAA releases spring sports plan

OHSAA releases spring sports plan
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A talented group of senior West Holmes softball players waited a long time for their shot to play together in their senior year. Will that chance come along? The OHSAA is ready if it does.

                        

There might be a spring high school sports season, or there may not be.

As the threat of coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on society, the Ohio High School Athletic Association is going to be ready should a window of opportunity present itself to create a downsized season.

Recently OHSAA officials announced a tentative details schedule for the spring sports season, and while it may be one built on a hope and a prayer, it is a game plan, nonetheless.

According to the OHSAA release, should school facilities reopen in early May, the spring sports season schedules would be in place.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association provided new details on Wednesday, April 8 regarding spring sports schedules and tournament information if school facilities should be allowed to reopen.

School facilities are closed through May 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the closure is extended beyond May 1, the OHSAA will provide updated information. If school facilities do not reopen this school year, there will not be a spring sports season.

“If the governor and Ohio Department of Health deem it safe to reopen school facilities in early May, then we will have a shortened spring sports season that extends into June,” OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said. “I commend our sports administration staff for putting the schedules together, working on state tournament sites.”

The April 8 memo sent out to all media and school administrators also included details regarding pupil activity and coaching permits, annual awards certificates, district athletic board elections, and academic eligibility for fall sports and college-bound seniors.

“We continue to applaud each of you for helping provide guidance and leadership to your coaches and your efforts to keep students engaged,” Snodgrass wrote to school administrators in the memo. “This crisis has heightened the awareness that students want to be back in the classroom. Teachers want students back in the classroom. In our solid belief that school-based athletic programs are an extension of the classroom, we hold that same belief for our student-athletes and coaches. Getting kids back with coaches is much more than winning, and we feel it a vital part of returning life to normalcy.”

The spring sports detailed game plan is as follows: If school facilities are closed for the remainder of the school year, spring sports will be cancelled.

The dates below for each sport are tentative and are based on the governor’s optimistic direction that schools will reopen May 4 and would be readjusted accordingly.

The mandatory no-contact period remains in place through May 1. No practices or group workouts may occur through this date, but the OHSAA encourages coaches to maintain electronic correspondence with their student-athletes.

With a current return on May 4, the schedules below have been adopted for spring sports. Specific information relative to sectional and district tournaments, playing dates, seeding procedures and game sites will all be provided in communications from the respective six district athletic boards.

If for any reason specific sites are shut down due to governor’s orders, all sites will be shut down and tournaments will not be held.

The state baseball tournament would take place at Akron Canal Park with the season beginning May 9, sectional tournaments taking place May 23-30 and the state tournament slated for June 19-21. Regular-season games can be played and completed up until June 27, meaning much of the season could take place well after the state tournament is completed.

The girls softball season would mirror that schedule with the state tournament taking place at Akron Firestone Stadium.

Boys tennis also would begin May 9 with sectional tournaments set to take place May 30 to June 6 and the state tournament taking place at Hilliard Davidson High School June 18-20 with regular-season matches to conclude no later than June 27.

Because the athletic facilities at the Ohio State University would not be available in June, the state meet would be separated into three different venues.

The regular season would begin May 9 with district meets taking place June 9-13. The state tournaments would take place June 26-27 with Div. I taking place at Hilliard Darby High School, Div. II taking place at Pickerington North High School and Div. III being held at Westerville North High School.

The state tournament venues are subject to change, and all of this could be moot should schools not be back in session in time to complete the season.


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