As last week ended, the OHSAA amended their previous memo as to the potential re-start to school-sponsored sports.
In a new memo sent to superintendents, principals and athletic directors on Thursday, it was noted that the school closure order signed by the director of the Department of Health had been amended to allow school districts to determine the usage of all school athletic facilities — both indoors and outdoors.
Previously, the sports of baseball, golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis and track and field were to have their non-contact period lifted on May 26. Now, that no-contact period will be lifted for all sports on that date for individual skills training.
The skill training, which may take place at school facilities at the discretion of respective school districts, includes such requirements as following the six-foot spacing social distancing protocols and self-symptom checking for any coaches, players or parent/guardians at the facility — with anyone experiencing symptoms needing to stay home. A no-touch rule will be in effect which includes forms of physical contact like high fives, huddles or other close contact occurring before, during and after skills sessions unless the contact is for the purpose and safety. Scrimmages and games are not permitted. Also, no congregation should occur before or after the training/practice session.
Also, time should be allotted between sessions to allow teams to exit the fields or facilities before new teams arrive and all equipment and items used must be sanitized before, during and after every event.
In the memo, it is emphasized that, “Again, the permissions for the sports announced today are for skill training only. Today’s announcement does not permit competition of any kind and there has been no date set for when competitions in these sports may begin.”
The OHSAA also added, “Please remember that all events after the conclusion of the spring sports season are considered ‘non-school’ events. While many club/travel/youth programs reach out to us, we remind them to check with their respective organizations for their own guidance.”
The OHSAA expects to release additional information with guidance on fall eligibility and other items that impact school athletic programs in the near future.