COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that limited fans will be allowed to attend the regional and state tournaments due to growing concerns around the coronavirus.
“This will be a very difficult time for our schools and fans, but we cannot ignore the directive of the governor,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said in a release. “We are pleased that our tournaments can continue and we will soon determine who can attend. However, we can already say that it will most likely be no more than the immediate family of the student athletes participating in the event.”
If you bought tickets for upcoming wrestling, ice hockey or basketball state tournaments, they are now void. New tickets will be sold.
Tickets purchased online with a credit card will be refunded by Ticketmaster to the same card. Tickets purchased via check will be refunded in approximately four to five weeks. Tickets purchased with cash at the Ohio State University ticket office can be returned for a refund on site.
The OHSAA’s decision reflects the recommendation given by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine that indoor sporting events eliminate spectators to avoid the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in the state.
Boys basketball regional tournament games scheduled for Tuesday night will go on with fans.
The Valley has several basketball teams and wrestlers still in the running for a state championship.
The Warren JFK and McDonald boys basketball teams are in the regional semifinals in Canton Tuesday night, while the LaBrae boys are in Canton Wednesday and the Chaney boys also play in Canton Thursday.
Male basketball players will be allowed to bring four family members each moving forward. Cheerleaders will also be allowed to bring four family members. Coaches can bring two family members, while school administrators and the bus driver will get free tickets for themselves and one guest. These select fans will be able to buy tickets with cash only at the game.
The West Branch girls basketball team will play in the state semifinals Thursday in Columbus but now, most fans will not be able to go. For that reason, West Branch has decided not to cancel classes Thursday after all.
Female basketball players will be allowed to bring four family members each. Girls coaches and administrators will be allowed to bring two family members each. Tickets will only be sold as single-session tickets.
Twenty-two local wrestlers are scheduled to head to Columbus for the state wrestling tournament Friday.
Wrestlers will be allowed to bring four family members, while coaches will be allowed to bring two family members. Tickets will only be sold as all-session ticket books.
According to information released by the Ohio Department of Health Tuesday, 15 people are now being tested for coronavirus. That’s up from five people Monday.
Fourteen people have tested negative, up from 11 Monday.