OHSAA reaffirms position to start winter sports as scheduled
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - While acknowledging individual school districts may pause sports at any time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio High School Athletic Association said it will continue with its upcoming winter sports schedule as previously planned.
A recent survey of OHSAA member school administrators showed 56 percent of 1,464 responses agreed with the plan to begin winter sports as 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.”
Further results of the survey showed 33 percent of school administrators wanted to delay winter sports until early January, and 11 percent wanted to delay winter sports indefinitely until statewide COVID-19 conditions improve.
The OHSAA also said Governor Mike DeWine’s statewide 10 p.m. curfew does not mean teams and fans must be home from competitions by that hour, but venues must be vacated by then. The organization encouraged member schools and conferences to alter start times to ensure facilities can be closed by 10 p.m.
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