OHSAA releases COVID-19 ‘Return to Play’ recommendations for high school sports

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — It is nearly go time for high school sports in Ohio. Nine days away from the first official practice of the season and the rules of the game, no matter what sport, are changing.

“It’s already been different through June, July with workouts, conditioning and trying to lift in the weight room,” said Brunswick Football Coach Mark Pinzone.

On Wednesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association sent out a 22-page document on recommendations for a return to play during COVID-19.

“I think everybody has been trying to stress three main things, wear your face covering, social distancing, physical distancing and then also hand hygiene,” said Padua High School Athletic Director Kevin Leigh.

The OHSAA is strongly recommending daily pre-participation screening for all athletes, coaches, trainers and school personnel, including temperature screenings, most if not all schools in northeast Ohio are already following that guideline.

“I think the documentation and the screening part is important because if you have a player that tests positive the action plan or emergency plan that the school district and athletic program have can be implemented right away,” Pinzone said.

Also among the recommendations, the OHSAA asks that all players wear masks to and from games, when arriving at the game site and when not involved in the field of play.

“I think this is something that they have to do if they want to have a season, so even though perhaps it’s a little more difficult, they are very happy to do it,” said Medina Boys Soccer Coach Simon Spelling.

“We are just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best,” said Leigh.

The OHSAA recently announced all Fall sports practices can begin in Ohio on August 1.  Schools are waiting for more guidance from the Governor and health officials to determine what happens with Marching Bands, cheerleaders, dance teams and spectactors this fall.

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