CLEVELAND — The Ohio High School Athletic Association recommends that schools still allow parents to attend sporting events in spite of Gov. Mike DeWine's request that all spectators be barred from games through the end of the year.
During his Tuesday COVID-19 briefing, DeWine asked schools in Ohio to hold winter sports without any fans through the end of the year.
"For those that have not suspended sports, we would ask you, when you conduct winter sports, basketball games, whatever, to do so without fans," DeWine said. "This is another opportunity for us just to pull back and allows our student-athletes to continue to play, which is as a parent or grandparent, is the most important thing, much as we would like to see them play.
Shortly after DeWine's news conference, the OHSAA sent a memo to schools stating that their organization, in conjunction with the Governor's Office, recommends that schools restrict attendance to only parents of participants, or eliminate all spectators, for winter sports competitions through Dec. 31.
“We want to follow this recommendation so that our kids can continue to compete,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “We believe it is crucial that parents be permitted to attend the contests of their children, but large crowds at our indoor athletic contests are not a good idea at this time. We all need to work together to give our kids and schools the best chance at having a full winter season.”
Schools will determine the process for how parents will attend games, such as how many are permitted and where they will be placed to watch.
The OHSAA is recommending the following for schools:
· For those schools that decide to admit parents, list the names of the parents on a roster sheet that is located at your ticket window/admission table.
· Limit media to those who normally cover your school and consider utilizing a streaming service in order for fans to view your contest(s).
· There is no prohibition on cheerleaders and pep bands, but schools should make their own decisions on these students’ participation and should strongly consider not sending cheerleaders to away contests.
The winter sports season is still moving along in Ohio as planned.
School districts are able to decide to postpone their season on their own.
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