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OHSAA says all tournaments are scheduled to proceed as planned, but coronavirus monitoring continues

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Posted at 11:07 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 11:33:44-05

CINCINNATI — The Ohio High School Athletic Association said postseason tournaments are scheduled to proceed as planned as the state governing body continues to stay abreast of the latest information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass told WCPO Wednesday there was an extensive meeting Monday morning to discuss the situation.

"We communicated with all district boards, and they in turn communicated with all managers while we communicated directly with all regional site managers and continue to meet with our state tournament venues," Snodgrass said.

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The OHSAA will host the Division I state boys and girls bowling tournaments at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl starting Friday.

On Tuesday night, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the upcoming weekend's Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus would be mostly closed to spectators due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The OHSAA said in the case of team tournaments, if participating schools and/or host sites are closed whether to weather or a health issue, the OHSAA would work with schools, host sites and district athletic boards to reschedule contests provided rescheduling does not adversely affect the next round.

“For individual tournaments, like bowling and wrestling, we reserve the right to delay or reschedule a tournament when all factors related to the severity of the situation are considered and provided it is practical to delay or reschedule the tournament,” Snodgrass said.

The OHSAA is asking fans, participating coaches and students, and tournament officials and staff to do their parts in helping prevent the spread of illnesses. The OHSAA said they are using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for everyday preventative steps:

  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

“We are committed to the health and safety of all those affiliated with our tournaments and will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide any updates as needed,” Snodgrass said.

The regional girls basketball tournament is also being played throughout the state through this weekend. District tournaments for boys basketball, hockey and individual wrestling are being held around the state.

Three state tournaments are scheduled next week in Columbus. The state individual wrestling tournament is scheduled for March 13-15 at the Schottenstein Center. The state girls basketball tournament is March 12-14 at St. John Arena. The state hockey tournament is March 12-15 at Nationwide Arena.

There are 816 member high schools in the OHSAA.