A MANDATORY no-contact period is in effect for all school-sponsored sports March 17-April 5, 2020. Additionally, there will be a mandatory shut down of facilities used for the purpose of conducting athletics activities from March 17-April 5, 2020.
A couple key points to remember:
We are RELYING on your communication with your coaches to ensure compliance. Bylaw 11 (Penalties) of the OHSAA Handbook outlines the ability to assess penalties for violation. Obviously, we do not want violations, which makes your oversight and communication vital.
The OHSAA Non-Interscholastic Rule is still applicable to all athletes, including spring sport athletes. For spring sport athletes, they are in violation of the non-interscholastic rule if they participate in any non-school sport in the same season if they have already participated in a scrimmage or contest for the school team in that sport. Additionally, at no time are they permitted to participate in any non-school sport exceeding the 50% limitation defined in General Sport Regulation 7.
Spring Sport Out-of-State Travel
Obviously, this is highly discouraged, and we urge all schools to cancel these trips. We also know that it is impossible in a few cases to obtain refunds. In those instances, we have no choice but to permit that to continue. However, please note:
Any contest played will be counted toward the total number permitted;
No NEW trips may be scheduled that have not previously been scheduled, and
It is highly recommended that the conditions outlined in Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton’s order be followed regarding the number of individuals permitted at the event (see the Q’s and A’s for more information).
With the return to school date tentatively set by Governor DeWine for April 6, the following will TENTATIVELY be in place:
April 6 – 10 MANDATORY Practices and/or Acclimatization (if required)
April 11 All Scrimmages/Regular Season Contests may begin
Tournaments will remain on dates as currently scheduled
Please note: Since the current situation is rapidly changing, any of these may need to be adjusted. IF they are, notification will go out immediately to schools. Thank you for your attention to this matter!
Serving Our Member Schools and Enriching Opportunities for Students
OHSAA Spring Sports Q’s and A’s (Practices, Contests, Tournaments) NOTE: Including two Q’s and A’s regarding winter sports (Last Updated May 13, 2020, 3:00 p.m.) NOTE: With the many inquiries coming into the OHSAA Executive Director’s Office regarding the status of OHSAA spring sports along with the three winter sports tournaments that have been postponed indefinitely, below are questions and answers that we believe will answer the majority of your pertinent questions. It should be noted that the OHSAA is assessing this situation on a daily basis and will update this document as necessary.
1. May our school or school district continue with practices, scrimmages or contests in OHSAA spring sports while our school is closed?
A. The OHSAA is enacting the directive beginning on March 17 that NO OHSAA member schools may conduct practices or participate in scrimmages or contests through at least April 5, 2020. This date coincides with the directive of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who has ordered Ohio’s schools closed through at least April. 3. Pending any changes from the Governor’s office or medical professionals, spring sport practices may begin on Monday, April 6, and scrimmages and/or contests may begin on Saturday, April 11.
2. May a student-athlete participate in non-interscholastic activities (practices and contests) without jeopardizing his/her spring sports eligibility status at our school in the event practices and contests are definitely reinstated April 6 and 11, respectively?
A. If a student-athlete has not participated in an interscholastic scrimmage or contest this school season, he or she MAY practice and/or participate with a non-school team without jeopardizing his/her eligibility status. If they meet this condition, all aspects of GSR 7.3 are applied, including the limitation of 50% of participants from each school. Otherwise, a student-athlete who HAS participated in an interscholastic scrimmage or contest MAY NOT participate with a non-school team and, should the OHSAA seasons indeed resume, this student-athlete would be ineligible.
3. Can practices and/or contests for spring sports that are led by parents, coaches and/or students be held?
A. All practices and/or contests may NOT be held, and school facilities SHALL NOT be utilized since Governor DeWine has ordered all schools closed through at least April 3. Any practices and/or contests organized by parents, coaches and/or students are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED
4. Can our spring sports student-athletes receive individual skill/coaching instruction from our coaches outside of our school facilities without hurting their eligibility status at our school in the event OHSAA practices and contests are reinstated?
A. Again, practices, including individual skill/coaching instruction, may not be held.
5. Can our spring sports student-athletes receive individual skill/coaching instruction from nonschool coaches without hurting their eligibility status at our school in the event OHSAA practices and contests are reinstated?
A. Student-athletes MAY receive individual skill/coaching instruction from a non-school coach or instructor at any time provided this does not violate any Board of Education (or similar governing board), school administrators’ or school coaches’ policies or the Ohio Revised Code. Again, this individual skill/coaching instruction may NOT be held at school facilities since Governor DeWine has ordered all schools closed through at least April 3.
6. What is the status of our school’s out-of-state spring break trip . . . are these still permitted?
A. Schools are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO CANCEL all out-of-state spring break trips for their teams. Should a team still take a trip, you are reminded of the order signed by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, on March 12 that says mass gatherings of 100 or more people are prohibited. We are encouraging you to follow this directive regardless of where a contest is played. Information on the order can be found here: https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/bans-massgatherings-of-100-or-more
7. What is the status of the OHSAA spring sports series of tournaments, including the state tournaments?
A. A decision on OHSAA spring sports tournaments has not been made. Should school indeed resume in Ohio on April 6, the current tournament dates will be followed. Obviously, there could be mandates from the governor’s office or orders from public health officials that could cancel or postpone our tournaments. We can tell you that our staff is already looking at options, which include the possibilities of postponements and cancellations. We will continue to monitor the situation, work closely with the proper authorities and make decisions that are in the best interests of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.
8. If spring sports practices and contests are reinstated, are there any reminders we need to be aware of in regard to the start of practices and contests along with acclimatization periods?
A. As stated earlier, should schools re-open on April 6, practices may begin on Monday, April 6, and scrimmages and/or contests may begin on Saturday, April 11. The exception is boys tennis, which may begin contests on April 6. In the sport of boys lacrosse, a three-day acclimatization period is required prior to contact being permitted during the first three days of practice. This is in place for all student-athletes joining the team for the first time at any point during the season. In 7th -8 th -grade track and field, ten (10) days of practice are required prior to the first interscholastic competition.
9. What about the OHSAA no-contact period for winter sports . . . does this end the normal 28 days after our school’s last interscholastic contest?
A. In the winter sports of basketball, ice hockey and wrestling, the OHSAA has implemented indefinitely a no-contact period, which prohibits any coach, paid or volunteer, approved by the Board of Education to provide coaching, instruction or supervising conditioning and physical fitness programs or open gyms to members of a school team in their sports.
10. Does this include coaches at schools that potentially have students who may yet participate in the OHSAA state girls basketball, regional and state boys basketball and state ice hockey tournaments?
A. Yes, since those tournaments have been postponed indefinitely. See the answers to questions 1 through 5 above . . . the same regulations in place for spring sports student-athletes and coaches as outlined above are in effect for these winter sports.
11. What about the student-athletes who qualified for the OHSAA state individual wrestling tournament?
A. Since the individual state wrestling tournament has also been postponed indefinitely, see the answers to questions 3 through 5 above . . . the same regulations in place for spring sports student-athletes and coaches as outlined above are in effect for wrestling. 12. Where can I go to find out more information about the coronavirus COVID-19? A. Go to the Ohio Department of Health website at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/
12. Where can I go to find out more information about the coronavirus COVID-19?
A. Go to the Ohio Department of Health website at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/