COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio High School Athletic Association has added two para-swimming events to the districts tournaments scheduled for the week of Feb. 10, 2020.

In an announcement Thursday, OHSAA says the two events will be contested for boys and girls and are the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.

The additions were made with the assistance from the United States Paralympics Swimming Director.

Two categories have been set up for student athletes with disabilities:

  • Category 1 is for non-ambulatory (using a wheelchair) with limited use of all four extremities.
  • Category 2 is for multiple limb deficiencies, ambulatory with assistance (can use a wheelchair with a high-functioning upper body).

“Our member schools have been so pleased with the opportunities and excitement that the seated events have brought to the track and field state championships that we have been exploring other sports to have Paralympics events,” said OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass in a news release. “We greatly appreciate the guidance from Queenie Nichols, who is the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Director and can’t wait to see these student-athletes get the chance to compete in the tournament.”

Schools can enter up to four student-athletes in each para-swimming event for both girls and boys. Eligible participants must have their medical verification on file with OHSAA so staff can determine the appropriate category for competition.

Similar to the track and field seated events, the two para-swimming events won't be counted for team scoring.

OHSAA says it intends for both para-swimming events to be brought to the state tournament in 2021.