COLUMBUS (WCMH) — OHSAA announced that starting Wednesday, sporting events would be closed to the general public, with only the immediate families of athletes permitted to attend.
The girls’ basketball state tournament starts Thursday at St. John Arena; the state wrestling tournament begins Friday at the Schottenstein Center; and the ice hockey tournament starts Saturday at Nationwide Arena.
“This will be a very difficult time for our schools and fans, but we cannot ignore the directive of the Governor,” said OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass. “We are pleased that our tournaments can continue and we will soon determine who can attend.”
According to the OHSAA, all previously purchased tickets are now void and new tickets will be sold according to the guideline laid out below:
Again, all previously purchased and complimentary tickets for the upcoming state tournaments are now void and new tickets will be sold per the instructions below, per sport, with specific details being sent to the member schools. Tickets purchased online via credit card will be refunded by Ticketmaster to the same credit card. Tickets purchased via check will be refunded in approximately four to five weeks. Tickets purchased with cash at the Ohio State University ticket office can be returned for a refund on-site.
STATE TOURNAMENT COMPONENTS CANCELED
At all OHSAA state and regional tournaments this week and next week, all events surrounding the games are canceled, including special presentations, halftime entertainment, various meetings, merchandise sales and other display booths.
State qualifying student-athletes will each be permitted to designate four family members who will be permitted to purchase all-session ticket books. State tournament coaches will each be permitted to designate two family members to purchase tickets. Tickets will only be sold as all-session ticket books.
REGIONAL BOYS BASKETBALL
Beginning Wednesday, student-athletes on the participating school tournament roster (players and cheerleaders) can designate four family members to purchase a ticket for the game. Coaches for that team can each designate two family members to purchase tickets. School administrators and the bus drive each receive one free ticket for themselves and a guest. Each regional site will work with the participating schools regarding its team list and ticket sales process, which will be cash only at entry.
Click on the following links for live video streams of boys basketball regional tournament games:
STATE GIRLS BASKETBALL
Student-athletes on the 16 state qualifying teams will each be permitted to designate four family members who will be permitted to purchase single-session tickets at St. John Arena. Coaches and administrators of the state tournament teams will each be permitted to designate two family members to purchase tickets. Tickets will only be sold as single-session tickets.
STATE ICE HOCKEY
Student-athletes on the four state qualifying teams will each be permitted to designate four family members who will be permitted to purchase single-session tickets at Nationwide Arena. State tournament coaches and school administrators will each be permitted to designate two family members to purchase tickets. Tickets will only be sold as single-session ticket books.
“We are very emotional about it, too,” Snodgrass said of the changes. “I want our fans to understand that, too.”
It was a sentiment echoed by some fans.
“I feel like these kids have worked their tail off to get here, so they ought to have the fans there to support them, that’s what I think,” said Craig Berlin, a father of a student-athlete.
Others are understanding and sympathetic.
“If their family and their community can’t come watch them, that is part of it all, so I think it’s going to be really hard,” said mom Casey Reed.
The new rules apply for the next two weekends of play. After that, the future is not clear.