Fall sports rules: OHSAA details what to expect

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio High School Athletic Association Interim Executive Director Bob Goldring said a majority of schools are moving forward with fall sports after the state announced a health order that will permit them.

OHSAA said field hockey, soccer and football will join the organization’s previously approved fall sports of golf, girls tennis, girls volleyball and cross country.

The soccer and field hockey seasons are scheduled to begin Friday, while volleyball, cross-country and football are set to begin Monday. The seasons for golf and girls tennis have already begun.

The Ohio Department of Health order with specific mandates and best practices for school sports was expected to be released Wednesday. OHSAA said it will involve symptom assessments, facial coverings, social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing and protocols for dealing with confirmed COVID-19 cases and exposure.

We’re making it clear to our schools that they’re going to have to follow all these mandates or there could be consequences,” Goldring said.

At a press conference Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine announced that spectator capacity at sporting events will be limited.

OHSAA said it is also prepared to remove impediments that would prevent schools from playing fall sports in the spring, allowing schools to delay fall sports until spring if they choose to do so due to the pandemic. The organization said it will need to create a task force to create parameters regarding spring sports opportunities.

Goldring said while OHSAA will allow some spring opportunity for schools that choose to delay fall sports, there will likely not be a tournament.

We’re encouraging as many schools as possible to participate this fall,” Goldring said. “This fall, as we sit here today, is guaranteed. “It’s not guaranteed this fall we’ll make it through, but the spring, I think, has even less guarantees.”

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