The Ohio High School Athletic Association gave area players, coaches and fans a glimmer of hope Wednesday, announcing revised spring sport dates.
It’s all contingent on what the state decides to do with the remainder of the school year, of course, but OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said there’s a chance sports could begin early next month.
“First, we continue to stay in close contact with the state’s leadership relative to stay-at-home orders,” Snodgrass said in a memo to member schools’ superintendents, principals and administrators. “Additionally, we continue to collaborate with the OASSA to make certain we have each other’s support as it relates to a return to school and activities.”
In other words, if schools are closed for the remainder of the school year, spring sports will be cancelled in Ohio, according to the memo.
That said, all dates are tentative.
“We are continuing with the Governor’s optimistic direction that schools will re-open on May 4,” Snodgrass said. “We will adjust accordingly. However optimistic this may be, we must plan for the return even if that ends up changing.”
According to the memo, baseball will start its season May 9 with sectional tournaments slated for May 23-30. The district tournament would follow June 1-6, the regional tournament would be June 11-12 and the state tournament would be played June 19-21.
Softball is following a similar schedule, with games beginning May 9. The sectional tournament would be played May 30 through June 6, district tournaments would be played June 8-13, regional tournaments would be June 15-20 and the state tournament would be June 25-27.
Boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls track and field and boys tennis would all start May 9 as well.
Lacrosse would potentially hold its regional qualifying tournaments May 26-30 and wrap up the season with the state final on June 13.
Tennis would hold the sectional May 30 through June 6, the district from June 8-13 and the state June 18-20.
Track, meanwhile, would hold its district tournament June 9-13, its regional tourney June 17-20 and its state showcase June 26-27.
“We continue to applaud each of you for helping provide guidance and leadership to your coaches and your efforts to keep students engaged,” Snodgrass told member schools’ administrators. “This crisis has heightened the awareness that students want to be back in the classroom. Teachers want students back in the classroom.
“In our solid belief that school-based athletic programs are an extension of the classroom, we hold that same belief for our student-athletes and coaches.”