Assisted by the United States Paralympics Swimming Director, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has added two para-swimming events to the district tournaments scheduled for the week of Feb. 10, 2020. The OHSAA intends to bring both para-swimming events to the state tournament in 2021.
The two events, which will be contested for both girls and boys, are the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke. Two categories have been established for student-athletes with disabilities. Category 1 is for non-ambulatory (using a wheelchair) with limited use of all four extremities. Category 2 is for multiple limb deficiencies, ambulatory with assistance (can use a wheelchair with a high-functioning upper body).
“Our member schools have been so pleased with the opportunities and excitement that the seated events have brought to the track and field state championships that we have been exploring other sports to have Paralympics events,” said Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Executive Director. “We greatly appreciate the guidance from Queenie Nichols, who is the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Director and can’t wait to see these student-athletes get the chance to compete in the tournament.”
Schools can enter up to four student-athletes in each para-swimming event for both girls and boys. Eligible student-athletes must have their medical verification on file with the OHSAA so staff can determine the appropriate category for competition.
Similar to the track and field seated events, the two para-swimming events shall not be counted for team scoring.