Health order spells out rules for youth, prep, college, club and pro sports

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Symptom checks, masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing and limited spectators are among requirements for sports to resume in the state during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday evening that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed a 12-page health order that spells out the rules for youth, collegiate, amateur, club and professional sports. All sports are permitted to practice and engage in competition, so long as they comply with the order.

“It’s not going to be your typical Friday night football in Ohio,” DeWine said.

The order states that players, coaches, athletic trainers and officials must conduct daily symptom checks before each practice or game. Also, coaches must have COVID-19 training developed for them by the ODH and educate their players on how to prevent the spread of the virus.

Masks are required at all times for coaches, trainers, volunteers and officials, with few exceptions. Athletes must wear masks when not in active play, also with few exceptions.

If there is a conflict between Ohio’s order and the rules of the sport’s governing authority, participants shall follow the provision that is the most restrictive on their activities, the order states.

Spectators also will have a part to play in following the orders. They, too, must conduct symptom checks and wear masks, even outdoors. Household groups must sit together, socially distanced from other individuals and family groups.


Violations of the health order would be a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $750

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