COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The OHSAA has informed member schools throughout the state of the intention to proceed with winter sports on time, as scheduled.
Winter sports include basketball, bowling, gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming and diving, and wrestling.
However, individual school districts have the freedom to pause sports at any time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The OHSAA Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Ohio Governor’s Office recently conducted a survey of member schools, with 56% of them voting to begin sports as previously scheduled.
“Though we are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in Ohio, the majority of our member schools want the opportunity to move forward with winter sports as planned,” said OHSAA executive director Doug Ute. “As always, the decision to play sports is a local school decision and there will certainly be schools that pause sports for periods of time in the months to come. But if the majority of our schools want to move forward, then we want to provide that opportunity. As we have said previously, our member schools provide our student athletes with the safest possible environment to participate. If we were to delay, students would find opportunities to compete in sports through non-school programs that may not be focused on safety and are not education-based.”
The survey results showed 33% of school administrators favored delaying winter sports until early January and 11% voted to delay winter sports indefinitely until statewide COVID-19 conditions improve.
The OHSAA clarified how Gov. Mike DeWine’s recent curfew order impacts high school sports.
As it relates to school sports, the governor’s 10 p.m. Ohio curfew order does not mean that teams and fans must be home from their competitions by 10 p.m., but venues must be vacated by 10 p.m. The OHSAA encourages schools and conferences to alter start times, if needed, so that competitions end in time to close the facility by 10 p.m.”
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