CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Public Schools athletics program plans to host city championships in football and girls volleyball this fall for schools who aren't participating in the Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason.
"We allowed and gave our coaches the opportunity to assess — coming back now — is it in their schools, their student-athletes' best interest to enter the state tournament or not?" CPS athletics manager Josh Hardin told WCPO Wednesday morning. "And if it was not, then our staff has been working hard to develop a city championship in those sports. So we would be looking to have our teams that are ready and prepared and it's in their best interest to compete in the OHSAA state tournament and those others compete in a city tournament with us."
The start of the football and volleyball seasons would help prepare for seeding, and the last weeks of the season would be completed with a bracket-style tournament.
Ohio high school football teams must decide about the OHSAA postseason by Sept. 24. The OHSAA volleyball tournament draw is Oct. 11.
The first CPS football game of the season is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Stargel Stadium when Woodward plays Shroder.
There are also three football games Friday night and a game Saturday afternoon within the district.
Hardin also said there will be a couple of CPS cross country meets hosted internally at Withrow this fall.
"We're trying to do everything to extend the student-athletes' season to give them as many games and competition as possible," Hardin said.
The CPS board of education approved a plan late Monday night to allow non-contact sports to start full competition this week while contact sports are able to return to intra-district games.
Contact sports may resume full interscholastic competition next week.
Prior to Monday night, CPS athletics had been on pause since Aug. 3 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams were able to practice but not compete against other schools.
Hardin did not say which teams or schools may opt-out of the OHSAA tournaments in volleyball and football.
Football teams around Ohio have a deadline of Thursday night to opt-in for the playoffs with a definite deadline of Sept. 24 whether to opt-out.
The OHSAA is allowing all eligible football teams to reach the postseason for the first time since the playoffs started in 1972.