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OHSAA adjusts its no-contact period for six sports starting May 26

Posted at 9:10 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 16:12:17-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio High School Athletic Association informed member schools Friday night it will lift the no-contact period for six sports starting May 26.

OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass informed school superintendents, principals and athletic administrators in a memo that effective May 26 coaches are able to instruct student-athletes from their school teams in baseball, golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis and track and field.

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The adjustment is in response to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's announcement Thursday regarding his "Responsible Restart Ohio" plan that addressed certain sports will be permitted to start May 26.

The OHSAA said in Friday's memo that school facilities and buildings are not under its jurisdiction and therefore "we have no ability to require them to be opened/closed." Snodgrass reiterated that on social media Friday night.

"Lt. Gov. (Jon) Husted indicated yesterday that local departments of health will determine the safe reopening of school outdoor facilities," Snodgrass wrote.

The OHSAA said earlier this month it referenced an order signed by Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton that all school buildings that provide any kindergarten through 12th grade instruction are to remain closed to students until 11:59 p.m. June 30.

"While (DeWine's) re-opening of sports appear to be directed to all non-school sports (club/travel/AAU/etcetera) they do have implications on school districts and regulations for school coaches and student-athletes," Snodgrass wrote. "This is especially true for the number of non-school sports that utilize school facilities."

Snodgrass said the OHSAA will provide additional updates on the other OHSAA-sanctioned sports as soon as the governor's office provides that information and "every intent is to align with the governor's orders."

Earlier this month, the OHSAA board of directors eliminated the 10-day coaching contact restriction for team sports coaches this summer (June 1 through Aug. 31). Baseball and softball teams are two of the OHSAA's nine team sports.

The OHSAA also reiterated in Friday's memo that the OHSAA spring sports seasons and tournaments are canceled and will not be conducted during the summer.

"This decision was made looking at every possible option at the time," Snodgrass wrote. "It simply is not possible to put spring sports in place for everyone at this time."

The OHSAA has 816 member high schools and approximately 760 seventh- to eighth-grade schools that belong to the association, which represents over 350,000 students competing in 26 sanctioned sports (13 for boys and 13 for girls).