OHSAA announces HS football plan, continues public parry with DeWine over testing

Wyoming Quarterback Evan Prater
Wyoming Quarterback Evan Prater(Cincinnati Enquirer, Tony Tribble)
Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:10 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced its plan Friday for high-school football in the fall, including six regular season games and a playoff that could include all teams willing to participate.

The playoff could begin Oct. 9, and the state championship games could take place sometime before Nov. 21.

Coaches in each region of the state would meet to determine tournament seeding.

More details about the plan can be found in OHSAA’s full memo to member schools.

OHSAA says the plan must still be approved by Gov. Mike. DeWine, though in fact an Aug. 1 order from the Ohio Department of Health already allows high-school football games to proceed so long as certain rules are followed.

The rule with which OHSAA takes most issue requires all athletes and coaches to receive a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to the start of a game.

OHSAA objects to that rule so much it published a letter on July 31 preemptively declaring high-school football can only proceed if negative COVID-19 tests are not required.

That July 31 letter started a process of public politicking continued in Friday’s announcement, which began with the olive branch that the plan contained therein had been created “following a recommendation this week from the governor’s office to shorten the season due to concerns that COVID-19 may spike in early winter.”

Pertinently, a Warren County judge granted a preliminary injunction Thursday against portions of ODH’s Aug. 1 order, though the scope of the injunction remains unclear and the ruling is likely to be appealed.

For his part, DeWine said in his Friday media briefing he would have an announcement on high-school, collegiate and professional sports early next week.

Per OHSAA, high-school football practices were allowed to begin Aug. 1.

Previously the association gave a target of Aug. 24 for the start of football games and said if games were not “approved” by Sept. 4, football could move to a condensed schedule that will take place between mid-December and the end of June.

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