Over the weekend, the Ohio High School Athletic Association reiterated its plan to cancel the spring sports season if Ohio Governor Mike DeWine kept the state’s schools closed for the remaining part of the school year.
Monday, that day came to pass.
DeWine announced that Ohio’s schools would remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year during his press conference on Monday, with students continuing remote learning during that time. But that announcement also means that the entire spring sports season, which has been postponed since March, will not take place for the first time in OHSAA history.
In a memo sent to member schools on Saturday, OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said regarding the plan to reopen the country and state in phases, “it was stated that ‘schools that are currently closed should remain closed.’ When this is confirmed by Governor DeWine and/or State Supt. of Schools (Paolo) DeMaria, we will be confirming the cancelation of spring sports as we have previously indicated.”
That confirmation came quickly.
“For the remainder of this school year, our young people will continue to go to school remotely,” DeWine said Monday. “We’ve flattened the curve, but the virus remains. Also, to go back to school now with a relatively small amount of time left, many educators have expressed to me that this wouldn’t be a good idea even if the health situation was resolved.”
No official announcement was made by the OHSAA on Monday afternoon, but it is expected soon.
“Based on today’s announcement by (Governor DeWine) that school facilities will remain closed for the rest of the school year, (the OHSAA) expects to send memo to school administrators Tuesday. No statement or release today,” the OHSAA said through its official Twitter account, @OHSAASports.
Ohio’s schools have been closed since March 13 as part of the state’s efforts to slow the spread of the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus, COVID-19. The OHSAA’s winter sports tournaments were also cancelled, the first cancellations of any state tournament since World War II in the 1940s.
In Saturday’s memo, the OHSAA also announced the cancellation of this year’s junior high track and field state championships, which were to be held on May 16, as well as the OHSAA Scholar Athlete Program for the 2019-20 school year.
Schools were scheduled to reopen on May 4, with the spring sports regular season beginning on May 9 and running until the end of June and early July. Spring sports includes baseball, softball, track and field, lacrosse and boys tennis.