Non-contact sports have already received the green light to begin competition, but questions are still swirling surrounding high school sports. With the Mid-American conference pushing fall athletics to the spring, the spotlight is shining brighter on the Ohio High School Athletic Association to create a safe environment for their student-athletes.
Here are the latest developments…
A Mixed Bag: Some sports are approaching normalcy.
Three fall sports are cleared to begin competition against rival high schools. While all sports can continue practicing, golf, tennis, and volleyball teams may play against other schools after being approved by Governor Mike DeWine.
After some delay, cross country was also ruled a non-contact, granting the sport the same permission as other ‘safer’ sports.
Meanwhile, contact sports such as football, soccer, and field hockey are waiting approval from the governor’s office to resume normalcy.
Cincinnati Public Schools halted on the road to return
The Cincinnati Public School board of education determined that athletics would not take place to begin the academic school year. The controversial decision follows the move the implement remote learning for the first five weeks of the fall semester.
Although practices may continue, fall athletics are suspended until at least September 28th when the issue will be reevaluated, says Cincinnati Public Schools athletics manager Josh Hardin.
“It’s really about keeping the hope alive for the kids,” says Hardin. “We will get onto the other side of this.”
The football season may be shortened
Pending approval from Dewine, the high school football season could be shortened to a six-game regular season.
This would ensure the regular season is concluded by September 28, while state finals are completed by November 21. Under the proposal, all teams will qualify for the playoffs. After opting out or being eliminated, teams may schedule more games on their own.
The proposal would, in theory, support schools who may have otherwise struggled to complete games on time throughout the entire fall semester.
“Those that are able to start their seasons on time will be able to do so,” says Jeff Cassella, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors. “Those that are starting later can still have a season. Add in the option of all schools entering the playoffs and the possibility of schools still being able to play 10 regular season contests, and this plan is helpful to virtually all of our schools.”