Ohio plans on moving forward as planned for high school football

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The Ohio High School Athletic Association has sent-out correspondence to schools around the state that indicates that the organization plans on operating Fall sports, including high school football, as scheduled. You can read the entire update below:

To: All OHSAA Member Schools’ Superintendents, Principals and Athletic Administrators
From: Bob Goldring, Interim Executive Director

Good evening to each of you as we continue to provide updated guidance, recommendations and clarifications on the Governor’s Responsible Restart with sports programs. As had been done previously, we want to continue to provide updates directly to you when necessary to help eliminate confusion and rumors.

First, for clarity, the OHSAA Office is proceeding as if fall sports will occur, meaning practices will begin on August 1 and we will conduct our usual series of tournaments in 10 fall sports. As you all have seen during this pandemic, those plans can be modified or cancelled quickly. In working with the Governor’s Office, we are currently in the process of preparing a guidance document on the restart of interscholastic athletics.

That document is in the editorial stages, so we will be sending that to you once it is approved. Further, we are planning to share a student-athlete
acknowledgement/pledge document that we hope you will consider using. This educational tool will provide student athletes with information on their responsibilities in participating during the pandemic.

Earlier today, the Ohio Department of Health issued a Director’s Order providing guidance through July 15, 2020, for contact sport competitions.

Competitive games and tournaments are now permitted for contact sports. During this period, practices and open gyms with another team or club and inter-club/team play are also permitted so long as all teams involved agree to comply with the requirements set forth in the Director’s Order. Lt. Governor Husted emphasized that this order is extended for a short, trial basis and that the responsibility is with all of us to continue exercising safe practices to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Here is a link to additional, short-term guidelines to help sports team continue their efforts to return to play: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Games-Leagues-Conferences-Tournaments-Contact-Sports.pdf

Here is a link to today’s Director’s Order: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/Second-Amended-Order-Guidance-Contact-Sport.pdf

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.