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August 12, 2020

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OHSAA indefinitely suspends August scrimmages

 Gov. Mike DeWine’s Tuesday coronavirus briefing brought no update on the status of high school sports this fall, but the Ohio High School Athletic Association sent a memo later in the day to administrators alerting them of one change.

Scrimmages for football and other contact sports are suspended until further notice.

The memo adds that practice remains "on track" to begin Saturday with low/non-contact sports allowed to have scrimmages and matchups between different schools at their normal scheduled dates. Those low/non-contact sports include golf, girls tennis and volleyball.

In addition to football, soccer, field hockey and cross country are impacted by the suspension of scrimmages.

“We are waiting for more guidance from the governor’s office and department of health on when school vs. school competition can begin and are hopeful of that permission being granted for our normal contest dates later in August,” the OHSAA memo stated, addressed from interim executive director Bob Goldring. “That that end, school vs. school scrimmages are suspended. We do not anticipate that suspension changing soon, and there remains the possibility that no scrimmages will be permitted in the contact sports of football, soccer and field hockey.”

The memo added that conversations are taking place about changing the status of field hockey and cross country to low/non-contact sports.

When asked Tuesday during his briefing if further guidance will be given for contact sports from the governor's office, DeWine replied, "Not today, I can't. These are tough calls for coaches, parents and the governor."

Additionally, the OHSAA memo from Goldring called early feedback from a survey sent out Monday as “helpful to both the governor’s office and ours in the decision making.”

The memo included multiple questions, including pushing back the fall sports season and a potential swap of sports seasons from the spring.

Ohio is already facing a fall sports season without every high school participating in athletic events. Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon announced last week he does not intend to allow sports be played during the first nine weeks of remote learning this fall. Senate League coaches sent a letter this week to Gordon asking him to reconsider, but two sources at member schools said they are not optimistic the letter will change CMSD’s position.

Summit County Public Health and the Portage County Health District have recommended their schools not participate in sports until Oct. 1 at the earliest.

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