Fall sports for high schools and colleges allowed in Ohio, but with stipulations

A limited number of spectators may attend games
Posted at 2:45 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 23:16:40-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine announced that high school and college fall sports will be able to move forward, with some stipulations.

In a press conference on Tuesday, he said a forthcoming order applies to athletics across the state. DeWine said that all sports will be allowed, including contact and non-contact.

According to DeWine, some families, superintendents and school officials have requested that some contact sports be moved to the spring. Any school district that wants to move a fall sport to the spring may do so.

"This order simply allows sports to move forward," DeWine said.

DeWine said a lot of city schools are electing to not have school in person or sports this fall, but rural communities are looking to start this fall.

"I would express a hope - I have a lot of hopes - a desire to have a season," DeWine said.

The OHSAA has already voted on and outlined a plan for the upcoming high school football season.

The only spectators allowed in the stands will be family members or people "very" close with that particular child, DeWine said.

Dr. Susannah Briskin, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatric Sports Medicine, outlined safety recommendations for both student-athletes and parents.

“What people are doing away from the field is probably more important than what people are doing on the field,” Briskin said.

“One of the most important things is to be honest, if you have any symptoms, either fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, you just don’t feel well, stay away from practice.”

“Stay physically distanced on the sidelines, make sure you stay with your family, keep that six-foot distance, make sure you keep a face mask on.”

Denneisha Mapp, an East Cleveland mother, who's son is a three-sport athlete at Apex Academy, said she confident the governor's plan will keep student-athletes safe statewide.

“It’s been hard, you know, these young boys need something to be active in,” Mapp said.

“Due to the different levels of the COVID-19, it feels like as long as they flow the CDC guidelines, and keep certain distance, and keep their hands clean, as well as the environment around them, they should be fine.”

DeWine said he will elaborate further about marching bands and their parents when he officially issues the order.

The order begins on August 21.

Tonight after News 5 at 6 p.m., join us on Facebook for a live roundtable discussion with local coaches and a health official about the governor's high school sports plan.

Click here for details and watch the roundtable below at 6:30 p.m. tonight:

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