In just another example of how quickly the coronavirus is impacting local communities, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that all remaining winter tournament contests are immediately postponed due to growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
“We will use this time to work with the appropriate state authorities and health experts to determine our next steps moving forward,” OHSAA commissioner Jerry Snodgrass said in a press release. “We realize this is disappointing for our participants and their fans, but the overall health and safety of everyone involved in our tournaments is our priority.”
Wednesday, the OHSAA announced the tournaments would be played without most fans, allowing only immediate family members to attend. Thursday, though, that all changed as Governor Mike DeWine issued an order banning mass gatherings of 100-plus people.
“I’m very sad for the athletes,” Delaware Hayes wrestling coach Kevin Rieman, who was set to take six of his student-athletes to the state showcase, said. “I understand the decision, and looking out for the safety of all involved, but I’m just devastated for the kids right now.”
No timetable has been determined for possible rescheduling of the tournaments, which include this weekend’s state girls basketball tourney at Ohio State’s St. John Arena, the state wrestling tournament at Value City Arena and the state hockey tournament at Nationwide Arena.
Next weekend’s boys state basketball tournament has also been postponed.