(7-14-20) Two states make announcements on Fall sports and the pandemic.

Ohio High School Athletic Association Interim Executive Director Bob Goldring made it clear today-

“We really feel it’s the school’s decision on whether or not they have sports or not, just like every other extracurricular activity. We don’t think it’s the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s place to say ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to sports.”

Later on Twitter the OHSAA sent out the following tweet, that clouded Goldring’s statement –

7-14-20

A deep sigh of relief from around the state quickly changed into a what? The OHSAA tweet stated ‘…but the Governor must approve competition between schools‘ in four sports cross country, field hockey, soccer and football.

Meanwhile in Illinois….

*Last updated 3:55pm on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced on July 14, 2020 that it will defer to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the Governor’s Office on all of its Return To Play Guidelines moving forward.

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson

“There is an unprecedented level of planning for this school year due to COVID-19, and we have come to understand that there needs to be a greater consistency between the guidelines for returning to learn and returning to interscholastic athletics. Some of the recommendations by the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and directives from IDPH have come into direct conflict with each other, especially as it relates to the use of masks by student-athletes. As a result, we feel it is important to let IDPH and ISBE provide a consistent direction for our membership moving forward. We will wait on direction from these organizations for further guidance on Return to Play plans for the 2020-21 school year.”

The IHSA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee had previously developed its own Return To Play Guidelines, which were then collaboratively amended, and then approved, by IDPH. The Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines were then amended at IDPH’s request to include a greater emphasis on masks, and also eliminated scrimmages in sports that require physical contact. IHSA teams can currently conduct limited summer contact workouts within the Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines as directed by IDPH and ISBE. Final approval on the revised Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines from IDPH are forthcoming.

Anderson added –

“We still believe there is a path to conducting high school athletics in the fall, like the majority of states surrounding Illinois plan to do. To make that happen, it’s important that we allow IDPH, ISBE and the Governor’s Office to take the lead on ensuring the safest and most consistent protocols.”

The thought behind the IHSA update…the state and Governor will have the final say in what direction fall sports will take and if there will be a season.