High school football, soccer scrimmages suspended, OHSAA announces

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(WJW) — Health officials in Summit County say in the last few weeks several local athletes have tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have about six or 7,” Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda told the I-Team.  “We have seen that in teams practicing so within Summit County we had teams that had to quarantine the team and stop practice until they could determine who was at risk.”

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday night that all school vs. school contact sports scrimmages are on suspension for the time being. This includes sports such as football, field hockey, soccer and cross country.

However, high school golf, tennis and volleyball teams are going to be allowed to scrimmage with other schools as they are not considered contact sports.

“In contact sports, you are closer to people and if you have that sustained contact, which means you are playing longer than 15 minutes at a time you are going to probably see some spread,” Skoda said. 

Skoda and other health officials say delaying some contact sports until October may help slow the spread of COVID-19.

With so many unknowns in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s still unclear when contact sports games can begin in Ohio.

Interim Executive Director Bob Goldring, who distributed the press release, said OHSAA continues to work with Gov. DeWine’s office to make play safe for the fall season. At yesterday’s coronavirus press conference, the governor said his office was not yet ready to make an announcement on the season.

“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,” Goldring said in the release. “We will certainly keep you updated if that changes.”

The release said that all high school sports (contact and non-contact) were on track to begin practices on Aug. 1.

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