COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that the winter sports tournaments of wrestling, basketball and ice hockey, which were postponed indefinitely on March 12, are now cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is anticipated that schools will not be able to reopen for many weeks, which prevents interscholastic athletics from taking place. The start of the OHSAA’s spring sports of softball, lacrosse, baseball, track and field and boys tennis is still postponed.
On Thursday, OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass and his staff communicated with the schools that were still competing in those winter tournaments to announce the decision.
“We are just devastated that the tournaments cannot be completed,” Snodgrass said. “But our priority is the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, communities and officials. Governor Mike DeWine is asking all Ohioans to do everything they can to stop the spread of this virus. That request, along with our schools not being able to reopen for weeks, means that school sports cannot happen at this time.”
These four winter state tournaments and a few events during World War II are the only sports cancellations in the history of the OHSAA, which was founded in 1907.
“Even if our schools reopen this spring, it will be difficult to find facilities willing to host the tournaments. Most campuses are shut down until mid to late summer,” Snodgrass said. “We are already planning for ways that these student-athletes will be honored at next year’s state tournament.”