The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Apr. 2, 2020

OHSAA tournaments remain on hold

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

COLUMBUS — In a somewhat surprising announcement, Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said 2019-2020 winter sports tournaments remain indefinitely postponed, but that could change in a day or two.

He also said at least for now, practices for spring sports are scheduled to resume on Monday, April 6.

Jerry Snodgrass

During a press conference held early Thursday afternoon, Snodgrass acknowledged the window of opportunity for winter sports tournaments – boys basketball regionals, girls state basketball, state wrestling and state ice hockey – is closing rapidly. All of those tournaments were postponed last week, amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

“Much of this hinges on future decisions by the Governor on whether we close schools for a longer period of time,” Snodgrass said. “Extending our tournaments into the summer months, extending them into May is very problematic on a lot of different fronts. I don’t expect every parent, every fan to understand all the reasons why, but nor will I put our schools, our venues, our sites at risk to explain all that.”

Snodgrass later said a decision on winter sports tournaments will be made within 24-48 hours and he said all winter tournaments will be played to a conclusion or canceled, meaning it’s all or nothing.

At the moment, Ohio schools are scheduled to resume classes on April 6, but during a briefing on Wednesday, Governor Mike DeWine said the shutdown will continue longer than planned, but offered no timeline. During a nationwide television appearance on Sunday, DeWine said the shutdown could run through the remainder of the academic year.

It appears any type of extended shutdown mandated by DeWine would result in the cancellation of OHSAA winter sports tournaments and all spring sports – baseball, softball, boys tennis and track and field.

“Canceling (sports) is on the table,” Snodgrass stated. “Everything is on the table. I would be remiss if I did not say that.”

Snodgrass also said the OHSAA is not considering giving student-athletes an extra year of eligibility and he noted the organization will likely lose between $1.4 and $1.5 million dollars because of the situation with COVID-19.

POSTED: 03/19/20 at 11:22 am. FILED UNDER: Sports