COLUMBUS, Ohio — All of Ohio's high schools will decide individually which sports they will or won't sponsor this fall, the Ohio High School Athletic Association said Tuesday.
The association stresses it plans to begin its fall season on schedule, with practices getting under way Aug. 1. At this time, only golf, tennis, and volleyball will be allowed to proceed to competition under Gov. Mike DeWine's orders, while higher-contact activities such as football, cross country, field hockey, and volleyball can only train and practice at this time.
"The OHSAA is working with the governor's office toward safety protocols and permission for those sports this fall," the governing body said in a statement posted to social media.
Concerns are running rampant about the possible reopening of schools during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and some wondered if fall sports would be canceled or postponed in an effort to mitigate the spread of the disease. Rather than issue its own directives, the OHSAA decided to leave the issue in the hands of districts and the governor's office.
The crisis comes at a critical time for the OHSAA, still reeling from last week's unexpected firing of executive director Jerry Snodgrass after just two years on the job. The Columbus Dispatch reported his ousting came after multiple internal arguments with his staff, and Bob Goldring has been tapped to serve as interim head of the association for the time being.
Most sports across Ohio were immediately halted at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The OHSAA had been in the middle of its winter sports championships, but many were postponed and eventually canceled.