OHSAA: State finals locations still up in the air


By Bryant Billing - bbilling@sidneydailynews.com



State championship matches for volleyball and boys and girls soccer are scheduled to take place in five weeks.

And as is normal for any events planned in the COVID-19 era, there are still unknowns.

The biggest unknowns for the Ohio High School Athletic Association? Where those state finals will take place.

The OHSAA said in a release on Monday usual state championship host sites for the two sports may or may not host the events this year. Volleyball state finals are usually held at Wright State University’s Nutter Center, and soccer state finals are normally held at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.

The announcement comes as the OHSAA is trying to deal with budget problems. The association, which earns 80 percent of its revenue from tournament ticket sales, said its 2020-21 budget calls for a $1.3 million deficit.

Restrictions put in place by state government officials on the amount of spectators allowed to attend sporting events will severely limit the revenue opportunities of the association during its tournaments this fall.

Golf and tennis postseason tournaments are already underway while football playoffs begin this weekend. Soccer, volleyball and cross country tournaments will begin in the next two weeks.

Locations for state championship football games also haven’t been set. The OHSAA announced earlier this year Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton won’t host state finals as previous scheduled.

The OHSAA said it is unlikely all seven football state championship games will be played at the same venue.

In addition, the OHSAA normally uses neutral locations for all playoff games from regional semifinals until state finals. The association has already said regional semifinals will be played at the stadium of the higher-seeded team and said the same method may be used in regional finals.

Neutral locations will be used for soccer district semifinals and finals but won’t be used for regional tournament games. The team listed on the top line of the bracket will host regional semifinals and finals.

The OHSAA also announced changes to how regional and state tournament cross country meets will be conducted this year.

The races will be spread out over two days. Division III races will be run on Friday afternoons, while Division I and II races will be run on Saturdays.

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By Bryant Billing

bbilling@sidneydailynews.com

Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.