CINCINNATI – The Ohio High School Athletic Association has begun discussing the possibility that fall sports could be delayed due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
While the beginning of the spring sports season is still being postponed, the first discussion about the autumn sports season took place one day after the OHSAA canceled the remaining four winter sports tournaments.
“Friday in our daily meeting that we have with staff – not that we haven’t thought about it – but now we’re starting to think about what happens when we’re late in football?” Jerry Snodgrass, executive director of the OHSAA, told WCPO on Saturday. “What if we’re late in our fall sport? Cross-country skiing is one of the earliest starts.”
August 1st is the official start of training for cross-country skiing, field hockey, soccer, golf, soccer, girls ‘tennis and girls’ volleyball.
“It’s difficult for us to have a sport too – I think you can say that all you want in cross country is social distance because you beat the other person – but it’s pretty difficult to have a sport and not the other, “said Snodgrass. “I know people are a bit of a challenge, but we’re looking at the fall now. We’re starting to plan.”
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Last weekend was the original launch date for baseball, softball, boys tennis, and athletics. Lacrosse should begin its season on March 20th. The postponement of spring sports coincides with the failure to open schools.
OHSAA / ICRC
Jerry Snodgrass, executive director of the OHSAA, said there had been initial discussions about the possibility that fall sports might be delayed due to the effects of the coronavirus.
“I’m not kidding anyone that one of the most important factors in all of this is how long the schools are closed,” said Snodgrass. “Right now it’s April 6. To think that’s realistic, probably not. But it is what it is. So if the governor and (Ohio Department of Health Director) Dr. (Amy) Acton do that as such We also know that if that’s not realistic, we have a plan when it’s May 1. If it’s late May there is a possibility. I mean there are some very distant ones Possibilities. “
Scott Kaufman, Lakota West sporting director, member of the OHSAA board of directors, said Friday he believes April 6th is a long way to go at best, based on what he has heard from press conferences from Ohio governor Mike DeWine have.
Kaufman said there is still a lot to do in terms of contests and tournaments in the regular season when the competition kicks off this spring.
“There are too many unknowns right now,” said Kaufman.
The OHSAA decided on March 25 to cancel the remaining winter sports tournaments due to the expected lack of available facilities and information about the coronavirus outbreak from DeWine’s press conference.
“We didn’t postpone this decision just to give false hope,” said Snodgrass. “I know a lot of people might think we did. By the time we really found out – we found out the day before, Wednesday – we almost solidified that big universities would close in the summer. Their facilities would not be available I still don’t know if they even published this. But most of them put that long date on. We can extrapolate that and know if these universities will do that, there certainly isn’t a high school that does that will take up liability for the organization of an event. “
The state girls’ basketball tournament was scheduled to take place at St. John Arena, while the state individual wrestling and state boys basketball tournaments were scheduled for the Schottenstein Center.
Snodgrass said additional information from DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton on the height of the coronavirus outbreak in the state also played an important role in the decision to cancel.
“At that point in time we had to go with the numbers,” said Snodgrass. “It’s sad to say that hope was gone, but basically that shut the door.”
Snodgrass said the lost revenue from the winter sports tournament cancellation is closer to $ 2 million, after initial estimates two weeks ago were $ 1.4-1.5 million. The OHSAA has a total budget of $ 19 million.
Post-season ticket revenue is an estimated 80% of the OHSAA’s operating budget. The 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization does not rely on taxpayers’ money.
There are 816 member colleges and approximately 760 seventh through eighth grade schools affiliated with the OHSAA, which represents over 350,000 students participating in 26 sanctioned sports (13 for boys and 13 for girls).
Snodgrass said expenses such as event programs and trophies for state tournaments are counted towards the budget.
“We have a lot of liabilities out there,” said Snodgrass. “The number of boxes of game programs we have from girls’ basketball that have been printed, wrestling – it’s amazing what boxes. And aside from the ones we send out to people and sell, they’ll probably go for recycling and that’s a huge expense. Our trophies – people kind of forget we have all these winter and spring sports trophies when we don’t have spring sports. And people say, “Can’t you fix them up?” Well, not when they’re with the year 2020 are provided. “
The OHSAA is discussing various ideas on how student athletes from the remaining winter sports tournaments can be recognized in the 2020-21 school year.
Snodgrass recently reached out to University of Dayton basketball coach Anthony Grant to discuss a possible future recognition program. Other ideas are also in the works.
Wyoming sporting director Jan Wilking, vice president of the OHSAA board of directors, said Friday that she appreciated the leadership Snodgrass showed as the state association worked through a number of scenarios.
“This is an unprecedented time,” said Wilking. “And having someone like Jerry who’s been in the shoes of a coach, a sports director, a parent, or a player really helps because he can relate to it. When he called to say this is the decision, we have to meet, he’s as emotional as anyone else. ” Be.”