Ohio announced mandatory rules and recommended best practices for the resumption of contact sports on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Gov. Mike DeWine announced full-contact sports could resume Monday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world in March.
Among the mandatory rules are:
• “Only intra-club/team scrimmages are permitted for contact sports and practices/open gyms should be limited in the same way wherever possible. Competitive games and tournaments are permitted for non-contact sports only.”
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• “Physical contact is only permitted within the rules of the game during competitive practice. Players, coaches, and officials are not to physically contact each other before or after competitive practice (i.e. greetings, team huddles, high-fives, congregating, etc.”
• “Limit time spent on activities where players are in close proximity for extended periods of time (e.g. repeatedly practicing corner or penalty kicks in soccer or rebounding drills in basketball).”
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• Athletic trainers must wear a face mask when treating injured athletes, though there are exceptions to the rule.
Among the recommendations are:
• “Traveling outside the local community may increase the changes of exposing players, coaches, and fans to COVID-19, or unknowingly spreading it to others. Consider competing only against teams in your local area.”
• “Limit use of carpools. Encourage players to only ride with others in their household if possible.”
Masks are recommended for coaches, officials, and spectators.