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OHSAA warns of penalties for violators of no-contact rule

Tim Stried
OHSAA Director of Communications

COLUMBUS — In recent correspondences sent to school administrators, our office has issued a no-contact period for all Ohio High School Athletic Association sports through May 1.
This no-contact period for OHSAA member schools has now been extended to June 1, 2020. This is to assist with Governor DeWine’s stay-at-home order and to ensure that school facilities remain closed and are not opened to school coaches and/or athletes.
Further, per an order signed by Dr. Amy Acton, Director of Health,on April 29, 2020, all school buildings that provide any K-12 instruction are to remainclosed to students until 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2020.
To read the full order, please follow this link: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/Second-Amended-Order-the-Closure-K-12-Schools-Ohio-Reader.pdf.
As a reminder, this no-contact period prohibits any coach, paid or volunteer, to provide coaching,instruction or supervising conditioning and physical fitness programs or open gyms, to members of a school team in their sports.
This does not include communication to your student-athletes, nor does it include electronic individual workouts, as long as those workouts can be done individually and do not promote group gatherings.
The maximum penalty for violating the no-contact period shall result in ineligibility for the head coach to coach in the first round of the postseason tournament in that respective sport for which the violation occurred.
Per Bylaw 11, penalties are assessed as they are deemed appropriate by the OHSAA administrative staff.
Electronic communication and programming is still permitted, as long as it continues to discourage any type of group instruction or gatherings.
The OHSAA understands the importance of any type of instruction or communication that can be provided to your student-athletes during this uncertain time for the mental well-being of your student-athletes, which we highly encourage.
As always, we will re-evaluate should there be any different directives from the governor’s office.
PARTICIPATION WITH NON-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
While we have extended our no-contact period regarding our coaches and student-athletes to June 1, we are not able to restrict students’ competing with non-interscholastic teams and/or programs.
However, the governor’s stay-at-homeorders and social distancing guidelines do apply to these non-interscholastic programs and teams.
The OHSAA recommends that schools keep up to date with the governor’s mandates and work with your non-interscholastic organization to find out when your student athlete can begin competition.
Further, our regulations regarding the 50 percent limitation and no-contact periodmustbe observed.
Failure to observe these regulations will result in a penalty being applied.