A decision on the completion of its winter sports tournaments is “probably expected” within the next 24-48 hours, according to Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass.
Snodgrass addressed the media on Thursday at the OHSAA office in Columbus to give an update as to where the association currently stands in regards to both winter and spring sports.
During the press conference, Snodgrass said the OHSAA would make a decision on the remaining winter sports tournaments as a group and not individually at that time. He admitted that the potential window for proceeding with the tournaments is closing.
”We still remain that they are on an indefinite postponement,” he said. “We do that for a simple reason. While again the window is closing, we realize that there are so many other factors that people do not realize — site availability, coach’s availability. Keeping in mind our officials, there are people that are in the risk category that we can not and will not subject to being faced with being infected by this virus. There are many factors with this.”
Snodgrass noted that the state individual wrestling tournament would bring together more than 600 wrestlers from across the state who would be representing 300 schools. Without workout facilities due to the closure of the schools, gyms and fitness centers by the governor, Snodgrass said it would probably “not (be) possible” for the wrestlers to maintain their weights under the OHSAA’s guidelines.
He added that the OHSAA is encouraging student-athletes in all sports to workout at home during the no-contact period instituted in wake of all schools being closed for an extended spring break.
The OHSAA took action last Thursday to postpone its state girls basketball, individual wrestling, ice hockey and the regional boys basketball tournaments due to the increased spread of the coronavirus.
In Pickaway County, Logan Elm had its boys basketball regional semifinal against Meadowbrook postponed and five wrestlers — Teays Valley’s Zander Graham and Gunner Havens, Westfall’s Chanston Moll and Josey Kelly and Logan Elm’s Cole Renier — all had earned berths in the state individual wrestling tournament.
Additionally, the OHSAA delayed the resumption of spring sports practice until Monday, April 6, the first day that schools are currently scheduled to resume classes following the expanded three-week spring break ordered by Governor Mike DeWine.
Under a tentative schedule released last week by the OHSAA, practices could resume for spring sports on April 6, with the first scrimmage and/or regular-season contest permitted starting on Saturday, April 11.
The OHSAA is waiting for a decision from the governor as to whether the expanded spring break will be extended past April 6. A decision on whether to extend that break is one of the “overriding factors” the OHSAA is waiting on to make a determination on spring sports, according to Snodgrass.
The OHSAA is also taking a financial hit from the crisis. Snodgrass estimated the OHSAA will lose between $1.4-1.5 million from what it would normally make during its winter sports tournaments out of an annual budget of $19 million. The association makes 80 percent of its revenue for operations off of ticket sales.