OHSAA cancels winter tournaments

OHSAA cancels winter tournaments

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that its winter sports tournaments for wrestling, basketball and ice hockey, which were postponded indefinitely on March 12, are now cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Area basketball teams affected included GlenOak in Div. I and Hiland in Div. III, which had both qualified for the state tournament, as well as regional boys basketball teams Triway, New Philadelphia and Meadowbrook (Div. II) and Hiland in Div. IV.

A total of 672 student-athletes qualified for the wrestling state tourney. Area schools with state wrestling qualifiers were: Div. I: Canton McKinley (1 qualifier), Massillon Perry (4), Wooster (2); Div. II: Meadowbrook (1), Canal Fulton Northwest (1), Dover (1), West Holmes (5), Fairless (1), Triway (1); Div. III: Waynedale (4), Norwayne (3), Dalton (2), Malvern (1), Tuslaw (4), Orrville (1), Smithville (2), Rittman (2), and Tusky Valley (1).

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.

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