CLEVELAND — After Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced students would not be returning to school for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) confirmed spring sports at member schools are canceled.
OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said a memo was sent to school administrators after Monday’s state briefing letting them know spring sports are canceled since school facilities are closed.
Snodgrass said he understand what this decision means for student athletes.
“I’ve heard from so many people who have said ‘You really need to understand what this means to our kids,’” Snodgrass said during the interview. “I’m a parent. I was a coach. I grew up every day as a player and a coach wanting to play high school sports and get to the state tournament. So I do think I understand that. I also have to go with the fact that my number one concern that I have, over everything, is the health and safety of everyone involved. It’s not just our student-athletes. It’s the parents, coaches, umpires, officials, the scorekeepers. All those things enter into this. It’s a tough decision and it’s one that I and all the other Executive Directors of the other states never thought we would have to do. Never did I think this would be the case, but I’ve tried to be as prepared as I could every step of the way.”
He also addressed summer and fall sports.
“July is a very physical month for our student-athletes entering fall sports, so we have already started looking at, if this continues through the summer, we’ll have the potential of having a lot of kids who haven’t had the physical activity that they would normally have going into a fall season," he said in a news release. "So for the health and safety of everyone, we have to look at the acclimation periods going into the fall, if that happens. We have to be prepared for that. We’re also talking about that, if this does go through the summer, what is the likelihood that a student can get in to get a physical (annual medical exam). We have a sport medicine advisory group that is looking at that. They are looking at all aspects such as whether artificial surfaces need to be treated. We are relying on the advice of experts in our decision making."
OHSAA said a no-contact period remains in effect until at least May 3.