)10-13-20) 2020 has seen a pandemic change our world. Social distancing has changed the way we live in so many ways…from how we worship…to how we conduct high school sports. Football being one of those that has changed drastically this season due to COVID 19. All forms of normalcy changed for all of us in March and continues to change day-by-day.
Even a trip back in time or a trip to the future for Marty McFly could not predict what would have happened this year.
Many other sports have been affected by the virus, but football may have seen things happen that we never could have imagined. Seven weeks into the season and we are still are last moment changes and adjustments being made.
The original 2020 football schedules were put into place way before the start of this season, two year contracts home and away, regular rotation changes of conference match-ups. Computer points figured into the planning of those same schedules, a winning record gave you the opportunity to play in the state tournament. But 2020 changed all of that.
Here is a list of what you would never have believed one year ago (some still don’t believe it).
- OHSAA shortens length of season (State approved), all schools will have to adjust schedules, most conferences decide to schedule only conference members
- Breaking contracts for games scheduled
- Some school districts cancel fall sports, later some would decide to participate
- Most conferences will not have a conference champion team
- OHSAA allows all schools to participate in football playoffs, regardless of record.
- Schools given the option to opt out of playoffs
- The first part of the season would include six regular season games
- Week 7 would be the first week of the playoffs, would include bye weeks for top seeds. Schools who had bye weeks or schools who 1st round opponent forfeited because of positive COVID 19 tests could schedule a regular season game
- Teams who lost 1st round playoff games are allowed to schedule regular season games during week 8, 9 and 10, some to decide end their seasons.
- Schools who cancelled games because of positive COVID 19 cases or lack of numbers saw their opponents re-schedule within days against schools they most likely would have never played in the past or would in the future. Postings on Twitter looking for an opponent is common.
- OHSAA raised ticket prices to $12 for 1st round playoff games, none of the income is shared with the participating schools
- Most later playoff games and State Final locations have not yet been confirmed
- No marching bands at half time
- State inspectors attend selected games to make sure schools are following social distancing rules, etc.
- Schools are allowed to live stream games due to seating restrictions
- 15 Numerous games are cancelled or postponed because of positive COVID 19 tests
Those are just some of the many issues that have faced AD’s , coaches and student-athletes this fall.
COVID 19 has had more impact on games this season then any football team has done…numerous games have been cancelled and postponed. Let us hope the the playoffs don’t see the same results….even as games were cancelled today because of the virus.
Will all of this change the look of football in Ohio in the future…will it change? Changes like ‘everybody can play in the playoffs‘ a result from this season? Will high school football seasons be shortened?
Someday looking back what will be the thoughts on the 2020 season and the decisions that were made to continue high school football during a pandemic.
Football tweets during a Pandemic
Troy will forfeit Friday’s Division II playoff game at Edgewood after a player tested positive for COVID-19