(4-30-20) News was grim today from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health today and that news could put OHSAA fall sports in jeopardy.
The Ohio Department of Health has announced that all school facilities will be closed through June 30th. The OHSAA announced that the no-contact period has been extended through June 1st. Meanwhile the Governor has also extended the stay at home order, with exceptions, but did not announce a specific date for the extension.
Those two announcements push back the timeline for fall sports preparation, last week during a teleconference call OHSAA Executive Jerry Snodgrass addressed concerns with students not being prepared physically for the start of the school year.During the call fall sports issues facing schools were discussed.
From the OHSAA
CURRENT NO-CONTACT RULE
In recent correspondences sent to school administrators, our office has issued a no-contact period for all OHSAA sports through May 1. This no-contact period for OHSAA member schools has now been extended to June 1, 2020. This is to assist with Governor DeWine’s stay-at-home order and to ensure that school facilities remain closed and are not opened to school coaches and/or athletes. Further, per an order signed by Dr. Amy Acton, Director of Health,on April 29, 2020, all school buildings that provide any K-12 instruction are to remain closed to students until 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2020. As a reminder, this no-contact period prohibits any coach, paid or volunteer, to provide coaching,instruction or supervising conditioning and physical fitness programs or open gyms, to members of a school team in their sports. This does not include communication to your student-athletes, nor does it include electronic individual workouts, as long as those workouts can be done individually and do not gatherings.
The maximum penalty for violating the no-contact period shall result in ineligibility for the head coach to coach in the first round of the postseason tournament in that respective sport for which the violation occurred. Per Bylaw 11, penalties are assessed as they are deemed appropriate by the OHSAA administrative staff.
Electronic communication and programming is still permitted, as long as it continues to discourage any type of group instruction or gatherings. We understand the importance of any type of instruction or communication that can be provided to your student-athletes during this uncertain time for the mental well-being of your student-athletes, which we highly encourage. As always, we will re-evaluate should there be any different directives from the Governor’s office.
PARTICIPATION WITH NON-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
While we have extended our no-contact period regarding our coaches and student-athletes to June 1, we are not able to restrict students’ competing with non-interscholastic teams and/or programs. However, the Governor’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines do apply to these non-interscholastic programs and teams. We recommend that you keep up to date with the Governor’s mandates and work with your non-interscholastic organization to find out when your student athlete can begin competition. Further, our regulations regarding the 50% limitation and no-contact period must be observed. Failure to observe these regulations will result in a penalty being applied.
REGULATION CHANGES APPROVED BY BOARD ON APRIL 30, 2020
A reminder that any directive established from the Governor’s office shall supersede the following.
General Sport Regulation7.1.4–Definition of a Member of a School Team/Team Member (Bylaw 4-1-3)Suspends the definition of a member of a school team for the 2020 spring sport athletes.
Summary of change: suspends the definition of a member of a school team for the 2020 spring sport athletes. Please be aware this suspension applies to spring sport athletes in the year of 2020 only.The definition of a member of a school team indicates that a student-athlete must participate in an interscholastic contest [or scrimmage] to be considered a member of the school team. Since spring sport seasons were cancelled prior to many scrimmages and/or contests being played, a 2020 spring sport athlete is now considered a member of the school team as soon as he/she made the team and Regulations shall apply as such.
General Sports Regulation 7.3.1 a, b & c –Regulations Permitting Students to Participate on Non-School Teams Outside of the School Team’s Season–Team Sports (Other than Football)—Adds the following statements:In a),“Rotating players” from the same school team is not permitted in the 50 percent player limitation.In b), changes the period during which the 50% limitation is not in effect to June 1 –August 31, 2020, only in the sports of basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball.In c), extend the period during which the 50% limitation is not in effect for baseball and softball players from the Friday before Memorial Day through August 31, 2020, only.
Summary of changes: the 50% limitation is not in effect from June 1 –July 31 in the sports of basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball and not in effect from the Friday prior to Memorial Day –July 31 for baseball and softball. For the summer of 2020 only, the 50% limitation is not in effect until August 31, instead of July 31. This permission has been extended until August 31 for 2020 only. The regular period of June 1 –July 31 will remain beginning on June 1, 2021. General Sports Regulation 7.5.1 –Regulations Permitting Coaches to Coach Their Own Student-Athletes on Non-School Teams Outside of the School Team’s Season –Team Sports–Removes any reference to 10 days (i.e., 10-day Rule, maximum of 10 days, explanation of 10-day limitation).Adds the following statement:The extension of these dates through August 31 is valid only for the 2020 summer period.Beginning with the 2021 summer period, the period of unrestricted coaching for interscholastic team sports coaches with their student-athletes will return to the period from June 1-July 31.
Summary of changes: Eliminates the 10-day restriction for team sports coaches from June 1-August 31, 2020, and thereafter from June 1–July 31.General Sports Regulation 11.2 –Mandatory No-Contact Period for Coaches–Adds a note that the OHSAA has suspended GSR 11.2 for all interscholastic coaches in the spring team sports of baseball, lacrosse and softball and for the winter team sports of ice hockey and basketball for the period from August 1-August 31, 2020, only.
Two releases on today’s development.
From Dr. Amy Acton
In Re: Second Amended Orderthe Closure of All K-12 Schools in the State of Ohio
I, Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), pursuant to the authority granted to me in R.C. 3701.13 to “make special orders…for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases” Order the following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the State of Ohio:
1.All school buildings that provide any kindergarten through grade twelve instruction in the State of Ohio are to remain closed to students until 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2020.
2.For the purpose of clarity, this closuredoes not include administrators, teachers, staff, vendors or contractors of a school.The administration of each school shall determine the appropriate level of access to the school during the closure, while promoting healthy practices such as hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, and encouraging social distancing. Telework options should be explored and encouraged whenever feasible.
3.This Order does not apply to and/or excludes activities or events at schools for voting,food services, boarding schools holding a charter from the State Board of Education,health services, charitable work or any activity approved by the local health department.
4.This Order does not apply to and/or excludes day camps licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services,targeted educational support programs, and other educational programming that are approved, in writing, by the local health department before the activity or use commences or continues. A copy of the approval must be provided to both ODH and the Ohio Department of Education. Any approved activity must follow Social Distancing Guidelines found in ODH orders.
5.This Order shall remain in full force and effect until the State of Emergency declared by the Governor no longer exists, or the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this Order.
6.To the extent any public official enforcing this order has questions regarding the closure of a schoolunder this Order, the Director of Health hereby delegates to local health departments the authority to answer questions in writingand consistent with this Order.