High school sports came to a halt with the statewide closure of schools. At a press conference today, Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass acknowledged the possibility of canceling winter sports tournaments, but the indefinite postponement remains in place for now.
"We do that for a simple reason," Snodgrass explained. "While again the window is closing, there are so many other factors that people do not realize. Site availability, coach’s availability, and keeping in mind that our officials and people in the risk category that we will not subject to being faced with being infected by this virus. Much of this hinges on future decisions by the governor on whether we close schools for a longer period of time. So there a lot of factors that enter in to when, how, and why we may end up having to cancel our winter tournaments. Cancelling is on the table. Everything is on the table.”
Snodgrass expects a final decision on winter sports soon. If schools remain closed beyond April 6, Snodgrass says starting spring sports in the summer could be an option. Despite the implemented safety measures, Snodgrass learned of club and travel leagues attempting to form.
"We enforced many of our non-interscholastic rules and out-of-season rules so we could help with that," Snodgrass said. "We even had one site the very next day called corona baseball. Corona baseball. It was developing a league for all these high school kids to get together and play, which totally contradicts the CDC's recommendations. They even used our logo. Very problematic for us. Again, it's not about denying kids the opportunities. It's about attacking this virus the way that we need to do it."
Snodgrass says discussions about fall sports are likely on the horizon. The economic impact on the Ohio High School Athletic Association just from the postponement of winter sports tournaments has been estimated at $1.5 million. Snodgrass say 80 percent of the OHSAA's budget comes from ticket sales.