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OHSAA remains optimistic about contact sports in advance of Gov. Mike DeWine's announcement

Posted at 12:22 PM, Aug 17, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio High School Athletic Association and Ohio governor's office continued discussions this past weekend regarding return-to-play guidance for contact sports this fall during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dialogue continues to be positive regarding the guidance discussions, according to OHSAA senior director of communications Tim Stried.

"We continue to work with the OHSAA," said Dan Tierney, press secretary for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's office. "Our staff and the Governor were working throughout the weekend on this issue. Announcement Tuesday."

Football, soccer and field hockey are considered contact sports by the Ohio governor's office and have not been approved for school-versus-school competition.

The high school soccer and field hockey seasons start Friday. The high school football season starts the week of Aug. 24 with Aug. 28 being the first Friday night.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said last week he will have an announcement about high school sports during his scheduled press conference Tuesday afternoon.

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"We're working with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to get it right to provide guidelines to make it as as safe as possible," DeWine said Aug. 13.

OHSAA interim executive director Bob Goldring told member schools in a memo last week that the OHSAA and governor's office continue to have conversations and are in a "cohesive effort and believe our plans to move forward with the start of our seasons are in concert."

"We realize our administrators want all the details in order for planning to be finalized," Goldring said. "We want that for you as well. As we have said numerous times in these updates, and assuming we do indeed receive the go-ahead Tuesday, there will be mandates and requirements that will be part of each member school's protocols for contests."

The low/non-contact sports that have already been approved by the governor's office for seasons are golf and tennis (seasons started earlier this month) along with girls volleyball (Friday) and cross country (Aug. 24).

The OHSAA has 815 member high schools and 760 seventh- to eighth-grade schools in the association for this upcoming 2020-21 school year.

The OHSAA represents over 350,000 students competing in 26 sanctioned sports – 13 for boys and 13 for girls during a typical school year.