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‘High School Sports’ Articles

With Ohio Governor Mike DeWine about to make decision on Sports Events, OHSAA makes adjustments to 2020 High School Football Season Schedule

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

 

www.OHSAA.org |  twitter.com/OHSAASports |  facebook.com/OHSAASports

 

For Immediate Release – August 7, 2020

 

Under recommendation to end season early due to COVID-19, all teams will make playoffs beginning Oct. 9

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following a recommendation this week from the Governor’s Office to shorten the season due to concerns that COVID-19 may spike in early winter, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Friday that if high school football games are approved by the Governor, all teams will enter the playoffs beginning October 9 and the state championship games will be played no later than November 21.

 

The OHSAA Board of Directors, which assisted OHSAA staff to create the proposal and approved it by a 9-0 vote, considers this a win-win situation for all schools since it will not matter how many games each team has played leading up to the playoffs. Instead of the computer ratings system determining which teams qualify for the playoffs, the coaches in each region will conduct a tournament seed meeting the week of September 28 to form the regional bracket, similar to the process in other OHSAA team sports.

 

Schools may keep their first six previously scheduled games, but all regular-season football contracts are now voidable by either school, especially in the event that conferences redo their league schedules to fit into the first six weeks. In addition, the OHSAA will determine new playoff regions in September. Schools that are eliminated from the playoffs may continue to schedule regular-season games up until November 14.

 

Schools that have currently paused sports could still begin their season in September or early October and compete in the playoffs. Schools are not required to enter the playoffs if they would rather play regular-season games up until November 14.

 

“To both ensure we can offer students the opportunity to participate in education-based athletes but do so with their best interests in mind, we believe this modified plan offers a positive solution by addressing many of the concerns of our member schools,” said Jeff Cassella, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors and athletic administrator at Mentor High School. “Those that are able to start their seasons on time will be able to do so. Those that are starting later can still have a season. Add in the option of all schools entering the playoffs and the possibility of schools still being able to play 10 regular season contests, and this plan is helpful to virtually all of our schools.”

 

The highest number of responses to one of the questions posed of superintendents, principals and athletic administrators in a recent OHSAA membership survey indicated that nearly 60 percent (890 of 1,498 respondents) favored either reducing the regular season and maintaining full OHSAA tournaments or maintaining the full regular season and maintaining full OHSAA tournaments.

 

A decision on spectators at contact sports has not yet been made, however the OHSAA believes that at a minimum parents should be permitted to attend.

 

As a reminder, four of the OHSAA’s fall sports have been determined to be low-contact by the Governor’s Office and thus are permitted to have contests with other schools, including golf, tennis, volleyball and cross country. The OHSAA’s fall sports of field hockey, soccer and football have been determined to be high-contact sports and the OHSAA continues to work with the Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Health toward modified protocols for those three sports to have contests.

 

2020 OHSAA Football

•  Regular-season games will begin the week of August 24 (same regular-season starting date).

•  All teams eligible to enter the OHSAA playoffs. New regions will be determined in September.

•  Number of playoff rounds dependent upon the number of schools entering the playoffs in each division. Coaches in each region will seed all playoff teams in the region to form a bracket, similar to other OHSAA sports.

•  Schools eliminated from the OHSAA playoffs or that choose not to enter the OHSAA playoffs have the option to schedule additional regular season contests through Saturday, November 14 (maximum of 10 regular season contests permitted).

•  Regular season Week 1:  Week of August 24

•  Regular season Week 2:  Week of August 31

•  Regular season Week 3:  Week of September 7

•  Regular season Week 4:  Week of September 14

•  Regular season Week 5:  Week of September 21

•  Regular season Week 6:  Week of September 28

•  Playoffs begin Friday, October 9

•  State finals end no later than Saturday, Nov. 21

 

Other Playoff Details

•  Playoff seeding will be via a vote of the coaches the week of September 28 (Harbin Ratings suspended for 2020 season)

•  All playoff contests through the regional semifinals (and possibly the regional finals) will be hosted by the higher seeded team

•  Schools must commit to participate in the playoffs by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 17

•  Playoff regions will be drawn on Friday, September 18

•  Schools may withdraw from the playoffs without penalty until Thursday, September 24


PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tim Stried; COURTESY OHSAA COMMUNICATIONS

OHSAA announces Early Season Cross Country Invitational cancelled

www.OHSAA.org |  twitter.com/OHSAASports |  facebook.com/OHSAASports

 

August 5, 2020

 

With large events in Franklin County not currently approved, OHSAA made difficult decision to cancel event

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With the health and safety of everyone involved as the top concern and due to the large size of the event, the Ohio High School Athletic Association Early Season Cross Country Invitational, scheduled for August 15 at Fortress Obetz and Memorial Park in Southeast Columbus, has been cancelled. The OHSAA’s decision was made Wednesday.

 

“We are very disappointed that the event is cancelled and understand that there will be frustrations from our student-athletes, but we have to put safety first,” said Bob Goldring, OHSAA Interim Executive Director. “We are meticulously moving forward with reopening our seasons for competition and appreciate the guidance of the Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Health. We also appreciate the cooperation of Fortress Obetz and we look forward to conducting our state championships there November 7.”

 

Sparked by additional interest from many schools since the course is the new home of the OHSAA cross country state championships, the OHSAA began putting schools on the wait list in mid-July and adjusted the schedule, race formats and the number of runners in each race in the hopes of providing the opportunity to participate to more schools. A decision had not yet been made regarding spectators.

 

Cross country events can still proceed around the state beginning August 24, as the sport of cross country has been designated as a low-contact sport by the Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Health. The OHSAA currently recommends smaller cross country events be held.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tim Stried; COURTESY OHSAA COMMUNICATIONS

 

OHSAA gives schools permission to seek venue from Media companies for live video of Home Football Games

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

 

www.OHSAA.org |  twitter.com/OHSAASports |  facebook.com/OHSAASports

 

For Immediate Release – August 4, 2020

 

Schools are encouraged to seek revenue from partners for live video of Friday night football games

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors has accepted a proposal from OHSAA staff that now allows schools to seek rights fees from local media outlets or video production companies to provide live video of their home regular-season Friday night football games during the 2020 season.

 

Since the mid-1990s, live video of Friday night regular-season football games has only been permitted by the host school on the school-owned TV station or website or the school-controlled webpage, leaving media to show Friday night games only on delay. At the time, that regulation was added at the request of a majority of OHSAA member schools to protect ticket revenue from their home games and have a statewide policy.

 

While continuing to provide their own live video, a growing number of schools have asked to partner with third-party sources to generate revenue from rights fees and pay-per-view of their Friday night home football games due to decreased crowd sizes that are expected this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools are already permitted to do that for all other regular-season contest in any sport, and regular-season football games that are not played on Friday.

 

“We believe that many of our schools will be able to work with partners to stream and televise their home regular-season football games,” said Bob Goldring, OHSAA Interim Executive Director. “Most of our schools rely on revenue from their home football games to help fund their athletic department, so this is one way that schools can still do that while facing limited ticket sales.”

 

Spectrum News 1 is the official TV partner of the OHSAA. As the home of the OHSAA, Spectrum will resume its Friday Night Game of the Week and Scholar-Athlete program when the fall season begins.

 

Of note, live video of any OHSAA postseason tournament contest is still only permitted by the official TV partner of the OHSAA or with OHSAA approval.

 

As always, the host school controls media access and seating in the press box. Due to the pandemic, some schools will limit the number of people in the press box. For postseason games, host facilities are asked to follow the OHSAA’s press box priority seating guidelines, posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Portals/0/Sports/Football/FBMediaPressBoxMemo.pdf

 

Section 2 (television) and Section 4 (streaming) of the OHSAA media regulations will be updated to reflect the change for 2020 for Friday night regular-season football games. The OHSAA and Board of Directors will reevaluate the regulation prior to the 2021 season.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tim Stried; COURTESY OF OHSAA COMMUNICATIONS


 

OHSAA gives Fall Sports the go ahead for practice sessions

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

 

www.OHSAA.org |  twitter.com/OHSAASports |  facebook.com/OHSAASports

July 31, 2020

OHSAA Fall Sports Practices Began Saturday

All fall sports can begin practice, while golf, tennis and volleyball have been approved by the Governor to have contests between schools

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s fall sports of girls tennis, girls and boys golf, field hockey, girls and boys soccer, girls and boys cross country, volleyball and football officially begin practice Saturday, August 1.

 

Earlier Friday, the OHSAA Board of Directors reaffirmed their position that the OHSAA fall sports seasons will go forward as planned. While all fall sports can practice, contests between schools in the sports of golf, tennis and volleyball have been approved by Governor Mike DeWine. The OHSAA continues to work with the Governor’s Office toward approval of contests in cross country, field hockey, soccer and football.

 

“It is important to keep athletic activity moving forward,” said Dan Leffingwell, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors and superintendent of the Noble Local Schools in Sarahsville. “And with that, we believe our member schools provide our student-athletes with the safest possible environment to return to play and that our school programs are the best avenue to help students learn lifelong lessons and provide social, emotional and physical benefits that other programs cannot. Moving forward allows those students to continue to be engaged with their school coaches and teammates. Membership data also supports this decision.”

 

Friday’s full memo sent to member schools at 2:00 PM is posted at: https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/BulletinBoard/20200731AdministratorUpdate.pdf

 

Some schools across Ohio will not be able to begin practice Saturday. That situation and others are addressed in this OHSAA Question and Answer document: https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/BulletinBoard/20200731QandA.pdf

 

Earlier this week, the OHSAA suspended scrimmages in the four fall contact sports that have not yet been approved by the Governor for school vs. school competition (field hockey, cross country, soccer and football). That memo is posted at: https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/BulletinBoard/20200728Update.pdf

 

The OHSAA’s COVID-19 correspondence center is posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Home/OHSAA-COVID-19-Correspondence

 

“If we were to delay, our students will find opportunities to compete in sports through non-school programs that may not be focused on safety and are not education-based,” Leffingwell said. “Should data on COVID-19 change and/or the Governor’s Office makes changes to our plan, we have flexibility that would allow us to look at implementing other models for our seasons.”

 

 

Low/Non-Contact Sports (Golf, Girls Tennis, Volleyball)

•  Official practices may begin on Saturday, Aug. 1. 

•  School vs. school scrimmages and/or contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations.

•  Golf – 1 scrimmage permitted any time during season; first contest Aug. 5.

•  Girls Tennis – 1 scrimmage permitted after practice begins and prior to first match; first contest Aug. 7.

•  Volleyball – 5 scrimmages and 1 preview permitted after practice begins; first contest Aug. 21.

 

Football

•  Official practices will begin on Saturday, Aug. 1, with the normal acclimatization period in place.

•  No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted.

•  School vs. school contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of the week of Monday, Aug. 24 (Note: This date is subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID-19 testing will not be required).

 

Other Contact Sports (Soccer, Field Hockey, Cross Country)

•  Practices will begin on Saturday, Aug. 1, with the normal acclimatization period in place for cross country.

•  No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted in soccer or field hockey.

•  School vs. school contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of Friday, Aug. 21, for soccer and field hockey and Monday, Aug. 24, for cross country (Note: These dates are subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID-19 testing will not be required).

 

Additional Notes

•  If contact sports are not approved for school vs. school competition by Friday, September 4, fall contact sports and remaining winter and spring sports will move to a condensed schedule that will take place between mid-December and the end of June. Fall non-contact sports would move forward as scheduled.

•  If the fall seasons begin and, for some reason, are stopped but then resume, the OHSAA has plans to move to a modified fall sports season.

•  If contact sports are approved for school vs. school competition, the OHSAA is prepared to set COVID-19-related requirements for schools to follow for competitions as requested by the Governor’s Office. The OHSAA will govern and issue consequences for the violation of these requirements as prescribed in OHSAA Bylaw 11, Penalties.

•  Conversations with the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health continue regarding the status of field hockey and/or cross country being placed into the low/non-contact category. The membership will be updated if that changes for either or both sports.

•  The OHSAA continues with conversations with the Governor’s Office on its plans to ensure we are in concert.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tim Stried; COURTESY OHSAA COMMUNICATIONS

 

OHSAA expanding Football Playoffs starting in 2021

News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association

Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director

 

www.OHSAA.org |  twitter.com/OHSAASports |  facebook.com/OHSAASports

 

May 20, 2020

Board of Directors approves expansion from eight to 12 qualifiers per region

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – During its May meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to expand the OHSAA football playoffs from eight schools per region to 12 beginning in the 2021 season. The 9-0 affirmative vote was given to a recommendation from the OHSAA staff, which was based on a proposal from the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association.

 

During the first round of the playoffs, the top four seeds will have a bye, while the No. 12 seed will play at the No. 5 seed, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8. In the second round, the No. 1 seed will play the winner of the 8 vs. 9 game; the No. 2 seed will play the winner of 6 vs. 11; the No. 3 seed will play the winner of 7 vs. 10 and the No. 4 seed will play the winner of 5 vs. 12.

 

The expansion will increase the number of football playoff qualifiers from 224 to 336. Last year there were 709 schools in Ohio that played 11-man football. Football is the only OHSAA team sport in which not every school qualifies for the postseason.

 

“We still have details to work out regarding the format and specific season dates, but this vote by the Board gives us the green light to finalize those details for 2021,” said Beau Rugg, Senior Director of Officiating and Sport Management for the OHSAA and the Association’s football administrator. “We are thankful for the Board’s support on this proposal, which will bring all the great things of playoff football to 112 additional schools and communities.”

 

Rugg also noted that the football finals in 2021 are expected to end during the same weekend as previously scheduled (Dec. 2-5). Schools will still be permitted to play 10 regular-season contests.

 

The higher seeded teams will have the opportunity to host their playoff games during the first and second rounds of the playoffs.

 

The OHSAA football playoffs began in 1972 when only 12 schools qualified for the playoffs (four schools in each of three classes). Expansion first came in 1980 when the OHSAA changed to five divisions with eight teams each (40 total qualifiers). A sixth division was added in 1994 (96 total qualifiers) and the number of qualifiers was increased to eight schools per region in 1999 (192 total qualifiers). A seventh division was added in 2013 to bring the number of qualifiers to 224.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tim Stried; COURTESY OHSAA COMMUNICATIONS


 

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