Ohio suspends fall scrimmages


OHIO—On Tuesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) suspended interscholastic scrimmages in football, soccer, cross country, and field hockey until further notice.

The association announced that teams may begin practice on Saturday, as scheduled, but will not be permitted to compete against other teams until further notice in effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. It is feasible that no scrimmages will be allowed to take place before the regular season starts in late August.

This certainly affects West Virginia high school athletics as many northern panhandle teams as well as teams in the western part of the state scrimmage schools across the Ohio River.

“We do not anticipate that suspension changing soon and there remains the possibility that no scrimmages will be permitted in the contact sports of football, soccer, and field hockey,” OHSAA

Executive Director Bob Goldring said in a statement. “We continue in conversations with Gov. Mike DeWine’s office on our plans to ensure we are in concert.”

Schools were notified by Goldring, who also noted that “initial data received from our membership survey has been shared and is helpful to both the Governor’s office and ours in the decision making.”

OHSAA then released another two-sentence statement restating its desire “to move forward with all sports programs currently planned for 2020. Official practices for all sports are scheduled to begin Saturday, Aug. 1st.” 

“Low-contact” and “non-contact” sports such as golf, tennis, and volleyball are permitted to conduct intersquad scrimmages as long as they follow “their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations.”

In addition, the association is considering changing cross country’s designation from full-contact to lowcontact or non-contact.

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