OHSAA Removing No-Contact Rule

Staff Writer

As Gov. Mike DeWine continues to slowly pull back restrictions on events around the state, it is prompting the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) to adjust accordingly.

On Thursday, Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass sent a memo to schools to update them on adjustments being made with the announcement that skill training is allowed for all sports.

The governor also said that the school closure order has been amended to allow school districts to determine the usage of all school athletic facilities — including both indoor and outdoor athletic facilities.

Also, all sports not previously mentioned in past communications may begin individual skill training beginning Tuesday. In addition, the skill training may take place at school facilities at the discretion of the respective school districts. Tournaments, games, competitions for contact sports are still prohibited for now.

According to Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov, the mandatory restrictions include social distancing, parents/guardians remaining at the training facility should maintain social distancing, no additional spectators are permitted. 

All individuals must avoid physical contact with others including high fives, huddles or other close contact occurring before, during, and after skills sessions unless the contact is for the purpose of safety. Scrimmages and games are not permitted, no congregation should occur before or after the training or practice session, coaches, players, parents/guardians must do a self-symptom check before going to the training session or practice. 

Anyone experiencing symptoms must stay home.

For equipment, facilities/clubs/teams must ensure that practice facilities have adequate space for social distancing on and off the field of play. Time should be allotted between sessions to allow teams to exit fields/facilities prior to new teams arriving. 

Equipment and items related to the activity must be sanitized before, during and after every event. If equipment cannot be sanitized during the activity, only participants of a single team must use equipment and items related to the activity and opposing participants avoid touching that equipment. All protocol included in the Responsible RestartOhio Guidance for gyms, dance instruction studios, and other personal fitness venues must be followed.

In a response to the governor's announcement Thursday, the OHSAA will be removing the no-contact period for all sports beginning Tuesday. Previously, the OHSSA lifted the no-contact regulations for baseball, golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis and track and field. The OHSAA made the decision last Friday.

In addition to the governor's announcement on skill training, he also announced that 

Miniature golf, batting cages and bowling alleys will be able to resume operations on Tuesday as long as appropriate safety protocols are followed.