The Ohio High School Athletic Association state basketball, wrestling, ice hockey championship events will be played with limited spectators in attendance.
That decision mirrors a recommendation from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday afternoon.
“For indoor events, we are asking for no events with spectators other than the athletes, parents, and others essential to the game. Right now, outdoor events can continue,” the governor tweeted.
“Through the limiting of large events, our goal is to dramatically slow down the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Now is the time to take action.”
“The truth is that COVID-19 is dangerous. We can’t ignore it. We can’t wish it away. We have to call it as it is,” he said.
The governor also asked all institutions of higher learning to:
- Screen students returning from international travel or cruise ships
- Eliminate international travel
- Cancel/postpone university-sponsored travel and large meetings
- Move toward online/remote learning
Ohio State announced Monday evening that it would hold most courses online only through March 30.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association agreed to follow Gov. DeWine’s recommendations.
“This will be a very difficult time for our schools and fans, but we cannot ignore the directive of the Governor,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said. “We are pleased that our tournaments can continue and we will soon determine who can attend. However, we can already say that it will most likely be no more than the immediate family of the student-athletes participating in the event.”
The restrictions will not apply to the boys’ basketball regional tournament games scheduled for Tuesday evening.
The OHSAA will announce plans for future games on Wednesday morning.
The girls’ basketball state tournament will tip off Thursday at St. John Arena, while the wrestling tournament starts Friday at the Schottenstein Center, and the hockey tournament begins Saturday at Nationwide Arena downtown.
Prelimary indications from the OHSAA are that each player will be allowed to have up to four people attend each game.
You can watch the OHSAA’s press conference on the decision below.
#OHSAA Press Conference https://t.co/6JIdLFV2RY
— Ohio High School Athletic Association (@OHSAASports) March 10, 2020
It is amazing. When the flu season comes along, you do not go to this extreme. I know this is a different virus, but you are taking the fun by not allowing fans to see the games.
The OHSAA relies on state championship ticket sales for a chunk of its revenue every year. I can pretty much assure you that these decisions are not being made lightly.
They’re worried about being sued and losing more money than they would make.
I’m wondering about the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Nationwide. Not to mention the B1G tourny in Indy.
I presume media will be allowed in?…
DeWine specifically mentioned media being allowed into the OHSAA events.
Thusfar, neither the NCAA nor B1G tournaments have announced any crowd restrictions at all. That’s obviously subject to change at any point, but the Blue Jackets are planning to continue allowing fans in, following the NHL’s guidelines and not the Governor’s recommendations.
But a lot has been changing every 24 hours, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings…
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