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Ohio High School Athletic Association: Parents will be able to attend winter sports contests

Because of COVID-19, the OHSAA recommends schools restrict attendance to only the parents of the participants, or eliminate all spectators, through December 31.

CLEVELAND — During his COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine stated that he is requesting for those schools that are electing to play winter sports at the moment to do so without fans.

Later in the afternoon, the Ohio High School Athletic Association clarified that parents of competing student-athletes are permitted to attend winter sports contests. 

"The OHSAA, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, recommends that schools restrict attendance to only the parents of the participants, or eliminate all spectators, for their winter sports competitions through December 31, 2020, due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases," the association wrote in its release.

Schools will determine the process for how parents will attend athletic contests, such as how many are permitted and where they will be placed to watch the contest.

"This is just another opportunity for us to pull back," DeWine said. "It allows our student-athletes to continue to play, which, as a parent or grandparent, is the most important thing."

“We want to follow this recommendation so that our kids can continue to compete,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “We believe it is crucial that parents be permitted to attend the contests of their children, but large crowds at our indoor athletic contests are not a good idea at this time. We all need to work together to give our kids and schools the best chance at having a full winter season.”

According to the OHSAA, the decision for schools to move forward with sports is a local decision. "Schools may certainly choose not to participate in a contest or to pause their season(s) for a period and should do what is in their best interest. The OHSAA believes that our member schools provide student-athletes with the safest possible environment to continue participating, and we all recognize the educational, physical and mental health benefits of participation."

You can watch Gov. DeWine's Tuesday briefing in the player below: