CLEVELAND — The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors said on Friday that OSHAA fall sports seasons will go forward as planned, meaning low/non-contact sports and contact sports will be permitted to begin official practices on Aug. 1.
“It is important to keep athletic activity moving forward,” Dan Leffingwell, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors and superintendent of the Noble Local Schools in Sarahsville, said in a statement.
He added, “And with that, we believe our member schools provide our student‐athletes with the safest possible environment to return to play and that our school programs are the best avenue to help students learn lifelong lessons and provide social, emotional and physical benefits that other programs cannot. Moving forward allows those students to continue to be engaged with their school coaches and teammates. Membership data also supports this decision."
Low/non-contact sports, includes golf, girls tennis and volleyball
- Official practices can begin Aug. 1
- School vs. school scrimmages and/or contests will follow their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations
- Golf—1 scrimmage permitted any time
- No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted.
- School vs. school contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of the week of Monday, Aug. 24
Other contact sports, including soccer, field hockey and cross country
- Practices will begin on Saturday, Aug. 1, with the normal acclimatization period in place for cross country.
- No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted in soccer or field hockey.
- School vs. school contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of Friday, Aug. 21, for soccer and field hockey and Monday, Aug. 24, for cross country
- NOTE: These dates are subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID‐19 testing will not be required)
OHSAA said if contact sports are not approved for school vs. school competition by Sept. 4, fall contact sports and remaining winter and spring sports will move to a condensed schedule that will take place between mid-December and end of June.
If the fall seasons begin and are stopped but then resume, OHSAA said it has plans to move to a modified fall sports season.
“If we were to delay, our students will find opportunities to compete in sports through non‐school programs that may not be focused on safety and are not education‐based,” Leffingwell said in a release. “Should data on COVID‐19 change and/or the Governor’s Office makes changes to our plan, we have flexibility that would allow us to look at implementing other models for our seasons.”