Coronavirus: OHSAA responds to order to keep crowds away from sporting events

COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association responded to an order from Ohio Governor DeWine to keep crowds away from all indoor sporting events in Ohio, including high school sports, in attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“This will be a very difficult time for our schools and fans, but we cannot ignore the directive of the Governor,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said. “We are pleased that our tournaments can continue and we will soon determine who can attend. However, we can already say that it will most likely be no more than the immediate family of the student-athletes participating in the event.”

Tuesday night’s boys basketball regional tournament will proceed with fans and the OHSAA will announce Wednesday how the tournament will move forward.

Carroll High School’s girls basketball team is scheduled to play in the Division II state semifinals Thursday afternoon in Columbus. Initially, the school planned cancel classes so its student body could attend. Following Governor DeWine’s recommendations, principale Matt Sableski said the school is making changes to its plans.

“We will have school, but we will make sure when the girls we’ll do a big send off celebration to be sure they feel very special about this event, and then we’re working hard right now to figure out how to stream the game,” Sableski said.

He told News Center 7 Carroll is still waiting on OSHAA’s official policy on what limited spectators will be permitted at Thursday’s game, but anticipates it will be a small number of tickets allotted to each player.

“I would say our girls were really positive about it, I mean, they were disappointed obviously but they are focused on winning a basketball game,” he said.

Other tournaments affected by this order are the OHSAA girls basketball state tournament at St. John Arena, the wrestling state tournament at the Schottenstein Center and the ice hockey state tournament at Nationwide Arena.

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