The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) announced Thursday that the winter sports tournaments of wrestling, basketball, and ice hockey have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, the tournaments were postponed indefinitely on March 12, and are now canceled. Additionally, the start of OHSAA's spring sports of softball, lacrosse, baseball, track and field, and boys tennis is still postponed. This coincides with schools not being open.
“We are just devastated that the tournaments cannot be completed,” said Snodgrass. “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. 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.
The 16 schools that qualified for the girls basketball state tournament, and the four teams that qualified for the ice hockey state tournament, will all receive state tournament programs, according to OHSAA.
“We are already planning for ways that these student-athletes will be honored at next year’s state tournament,” said Snodgrass.
These four winter state tournaments, and a few events during World War II (1941-45) are the only sports cancellations in the history of OHSAA, which was founded in 1907.