CLEVELAND — During a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday, Bob Goldring, the interim executive director of the OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association), said that the organization wants schools to have the opportunity to play sports in the spring even if some schools decide to sit out during the fall while other schools compete.
“We do want to try to make a commitment to providing an opportunity for schools to play in the spring. We also want to commit to providing a window for schools to commit or to play in the spring,” Goldring said. “But to say what those details are right now would be very premature.”
Goldring continued, "Right now, as I sit here today, I would say there will not be a tournament option for our schools in the spring for the fall sports. But again, we need to work out those particulars. That's not to say if we get so far into the spring or into the fall season, the current fall season, and we are halted like we were, you know, last winter and couldn't have the spring seasons, we would definitely look at coming back with some type of mini-type seasons after the first of the year for schools to compete.”
According to Goldring, those details are some of the things that will be discussed next week when the board meets.
“I think the safest thing to say is we are committed to having some type of opportunity for fall sports that are not competing this fall to compete somehow in the spring and having some window for them—but what that looks like is not determined at this point,” Goldring said.
What OHSAA is not looking to do though is create a duplicate tournament later on in the spring for schools that chose not to compete in the fall.
“Our intention really is not to provide another tournament opportunity in the same sport that's duplicated from the fall in the spring merely to give schools, as we said here today, an opportunity to participate,” Goldring said. “How long that participation window will be, what that looks like, again, we still have to sort that out. But as I mentioned, we're really not looking to offer a tournament opportunity again in the spring per se, as long as we have our normal tournament series in the fall.”
Goldring said the OHSAA has been in talks with Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted as well as the Ohio Department of Health about the upcoming season.
Earlier this month, the OHSAA released a plan detailing what the upcoming season for football would look like. Their plan is to have a six-game regular season that starts on Aug. 24 with playoffs starting on Oct. 9.
The OHSAA is working to determine how many schools will actually be competing and how many within each division. That result will determine how long each playoff round is, according to Goldring.
On Tuesday, DeWine announced that all sports will be able to move forward this fall, but with certain stipulations.
For example, the only spectators allowed in the stands will be family members or people "very" close with that particular child, DeWine said.
Capacity for each stadium is something Goldring said the OHSAA is working on determining right now and available seats will be determined based on the actual number of permanent seats of each venue.
While DeWine said on Tuesday that some city schools have elected to not have sports at all this fall, other rural communities are looking at competing.
Goldring touched on that Wednesday saying that to his knowledge, quite a few schools will have fall sports.
“Right now, as we sit here, it’s probably safe to say that the majority of our schools are moving forward with competing this fall,” Goldring said.
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