OHSAA, Ohio High School Sports Get Go-Ahead from Governor

OHSAA Championships in 2015 Photo Courtesy: Emma Gresser

The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) got the approval of Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday to sanction contact sports in the fall.

The green light includes football, but other contact sports like soccer and field hockey are also covered. The sports had been in a holding pattern with August practices suspended. The order goes into effect Friday.

The ruling doesn’t directly apply to swimming and diving, which is a winter sport for the OHSAA. Practices for swimming begin in late October with competition beginning in late November; some states have issued delays lasting at least that long into the fall.

DeWine, who had an apparent false positive test for COVID-19 earlier this month, met with administrators and sports officials to produce sport-specific guidelines for competition in seven sports (cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer, girls tennis, volleyball). They include squad limitations for contact sports, schedule alterations and spectator capacities.

“I hope that the desire to have a season will inspire our young people, our athletes, our student-athletes, 24/7 to be as careful as they can,” DeWine said during a press conference. “I hope also that our coaches will use this an opportunity to focus on helping these young people understand what really is at stake. If they are going to be able to play, that they are going to have to do everything they can to keep COVID out of their team.”

The announcement was accompanied by the OHSAA lifting a prohibition on playing fall sports in the spring, which offers an alternative if competition can’t proceed this fall.

“The OHSAA is moving forward because we want kids to have an opportunity to participate, and the Governor’s Office is providing that opportunity and a chance,” OHSAA interim executive director Bob Goldring said in a press statement. “So for that we are most appreciative. It’s important to remember that our student-athletes have been practicing and training with others for weeks and even months, and it has gone well. So, we believe they deserve the chance to move forward, and that the high school space is also different than the collegiate space.”


    • David C. Graham

      Jolene Allen WOW, i swam at that pool 2 years in a row at YWMCA Nationals in 1991and 1992,,,,,,,, what a fast pool!

      • avatar
        Michele Anderson

        C.T. Branin Natatorium is getting a makeover and will likely be even faster.

    • Dan DiSalle

      David C. Graham a.k.a. “The Thunderdome” because it gets so loud during Ohio High School State Championships that’s been held there every year since the early 1970’s

    • avatar
      Brian Katz


  1. Kimberly Ann

    How can high schools in Ohio have sports but not the college’s!!

    • Mickey McNeil

      Kimberly Ann it is still based on schools, colleges, clubs, leagues/associations etc to decide to participate. It is noted in the Health order

  2. Ja Bounce

    Soooooooo CONTACT sports are ok, but nothing yet on Polo or Swimming when clearly NO current U.S testing results (from any of the majors – WHO, CDC, etc) have proven that Chlorinated pools Do/Do-not combat against the virus?!? Show the results/numbers (current) from U.S aquatic centers that have the green up to date!!! #SeemToBePlayingFavoriteToTraditionalSports

    • Mickey McNeil

      Ja Bounce the Ohio Health Order applies to all sports.

  3. avatar

    FYI The OHIO Health Order for all Sports Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club and Professional Sports

  4. avatar

    In Ohoo, pools that normally rent to high school teams and some clubs are not renting out space to them at all. This will be problematic to have a bona-fide high school season in Ohio where few schools have pools and NFew to No COLLEGES and YMCA’s are renting or available for hosting any swim meets.

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