- OHSAA Member School Updates
- April 18, 2020
- To: All OHSAA Member Schools’ Superintendents, Principals and Athletic Administrators
- From: Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director
Good afternoon to each of you. Once again, this communication is intended to keep you in the loop with the continually changing events affecting school activities. Please note this communication has been shared with our District Athletic Boards and our schools well in advance of it being shared with the media. It is my intent to make sure our members receive all important information directly instead of reading it on social media or in a newspaper. The media WILL receive a version of this but not until much later. Yesterday’s announcements about “Phases” for ‘opening up’ the nation and states has brought about more uncertainty that we are working to prepare for.
To help serve you the best possible way during this crisis, PLEASE take a few short 2 minutes and answer the questions listed in the survey sent to school administrators on Friday.
Governor DeWine/President Trump’s Recent Announcement
With yesterday’s (Thursday) news conferences, plans appear to be moving forward to ‘open up’ the nation and Ohio in “Phases”. It was stated that ‘schools that are currently closed should remain closed’. When this is confirmed by Governor DeWine and/or State Supt. of Schools DeMaria, we will be confirming the cancellation of spring sports as we have previously indicated.
Moving Forward – “Opening Up” the Nation and Ohio
Earlier this week, Governor DeWine mentioned that all businesses should start planning for re-opening in a safe manner regardless of when this is. Our ‘business’ is unique in the great number of individuals we serve. We want you to know we have been working on these plans and will provide guidance to our schools. This includes advice on how “PPE’s” (Physicals) will be handled and recommendations on health and safety standards for facilities. The OHSAA has a very good Joint Advisory Counsel on Sport Medicine that is being consulted on many issues and will be making recommendations. We simply want to assure you this is being worked on but is a bit premature based upon the Governor’s timelines. Passage of Issue 7C on the recently sent Referendum proposals will also provide our office the ability to suspend a bylaw in the wake of the pandemic. This is also the reason we continue looking ahead to summer and fall since the “opening up” date remains a moving target.
7th-8th Grade Track & Field State Championships
After much discussion and consideration, this year’s 7th-8th grade State Championships (originally scheduled for May 16) must be cancelled. Obviously, this was not an easy decision, but one that had to be made due to logistics. As all coaches and athletic administrators know, qualifiers are based on FAT qualifying times, and with the extremely small window of qualifying time possibilities, we simply did not feel that this was feasible. We continue to encourage ALL 7th-8th grade programs to conduct a regular season and to keep our young athletes involved both mentally and physically if Governor DeWine and the State of Ohio allows schools to return.
OHSAA Scholar Athlete Program
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, we must also cancel the annual Scholar Athlete Program for the 2019-20 school year. This includes the awarding of scholarship money and the annual banquets that are held by our six District Athletic Boards. The decision has been made due to the inability to complete our winter sports tournaments, along with the current fluidity of our spring sports seasons. The combination of these two situations does not allow for the nominated seniors to maximize their scoring with the system that is used. Our office will be reaching out to the individuals who have submitted their applications regarding this cancellation.
The decisions that have been made by this office have not been easy ones. Our office understands as well as anyone that sports, and all that comes along with them, are extremely important to these student athletes. Please know that we do not take these decisions lightly. As mentioned above, athlete safety and fairness are our top priority when evaluating our options. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any individuals in our office as we are here to help you navigate these trying times. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. Stay safe!