OHSAA planning for all scenarios for spring/fall sports

Shawnee’s Robie Glass competes in the high jump at the Division II state track and field championships on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

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Shawnee’s Robie Glass competes in the high jump at the Division II state track and field championships on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday it has not made a final decision regarding how it will rule if student-athletes are eligible for fall sports. There has been debate about whether grades from this spring period, in which students are taking classes at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, should count.

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Typically, students would have to receive passing grades in a minimum of five one-credit courses during the “immediately preceding grading period” in order to be eligible for the 2020 fall season.

The OHSAA is now asking schools to consider using the grades from the third grading period if they’re not issuing grades for the fourth grading period this spring.

“The grades the students received at the end of the 3rd grading period would be what you use to determine their eligibility for fall sports,” an OHSAA press release read. “This would essentially be turning your 3rd grading period into your 2nd semester or final grading period of the 2019-2020 school year.”

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With some schools considering going to a pass/fail grading system this spring, the OHSAA will consider “Pass” or “Satisfactory” a passing grade.

In other news, the OHSAA extended the no-contact rule through May 1 to align with Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order. Coaches can not meet privately with students but are encouraged to keep communicating electronically.

As for whether there’s any chance the spring sports season will take place, the OHSAA announced, “Since other events and activities are not permitted by the current Governor’s orders, we collectively believe we can continue looking at abbreviated schedules for spring sports. While cancellation remains on the table with all other options, there are many factors that enter into possibilities. Availability of venues for any events, Dept. of Health guidelines and Governor’s orders are all part of the equation. Under no circumstances will we compromise the safety of student-athletes, coaches, officials, game workers or fans. Everyone in the schools is aware of the extremely fluid situation and we will continue to update you as things change.”

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Looking ahead, the OHSAA said it would adjust offseason regulations if sports are permitted to resume in June or July, and it is also planning ahead in case fall sports are also affected by COVID-19.

“In a worst-case scenario, if events/practices/training are shut down during or through the summer, the reality exists that many of the thousands of student-athletes may lack any high-level physical training,” the OHSAA said. “We need to look at what serves our student-athletes best relative to acclimatization periods. I want to stress that we are PLANNING for worst-case scenarios by identifying all the challenges we could potentially face.”

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