By Josh Brown
Miami Valley Today
COLUMBUS — After the unprecedented cancellation of spring sports, a fall sports season is looking more and more likely.
After last week’s announcement during Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s press briefing that practices could resume on May 26 for a handful of low- and non-contact Ohio high School Athletic Association sports, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said on Thursday that skill training for all sports — including contact sports — would be permitted to resume the same day.
“Skills training for all sports may resume on May 26th — including contact sports — as long as safety protocols can be followed,” DeWine said Thursday in a tweet on his official Twitter account.
Contact sports such as football and basketball can resume individual skills training like weight lifting, conditioning and agility training, with fitness centers and gyms also opening on May 26. In addition, the no-contact period between coaches and athletes enforced by the OHSAA, set to expire at the end of June, will also be lifted.
And, the closure of school facilities was also amended — now, it will be up to each individual school district to determine the available of their indoor and outdoor school athletic facilities.
However, games, tournaments and other competitions will still be prohibited for the time being for contact sports.
OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass, though, remains hopeful that fall sports will be held.
“That is a question that is just burning for everyone, so I want to preface it by saying no one wants it back more than we do,” he said during the Greater Columbus Sports Commission’s Virtual Sports Report. “It’s going to depend on the next couple of weeks. I’m an eternal optimist. And if you ask me right now, I do believe we go forward in a normal routine with football, with some safeguards.
“That’s the eternal optimist in me. But I have to stress that we’re prepared if we can’t.”
On May 18, the OHSAA announced that the no-contact period would be lifted on May 26 for to low-to-no-contact sports of baseball, softball, golf, tennis, swimming and diving and track and field. The OHSAA spring sports season — which includes baseball, softball, track and field, boys tennis and lacrosse — was officially canceled back on April 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contact Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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