Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Doug Ute issued the following update to member schools Friday, May 7.

The following updates and reminders are being sent electronically to member school superintendents, principals and athletic administrators.

Spring Tournaments Beginning – Don’t Let Up in Prevention Against COVID-19

As shared previously with the membership, here are the highlights of the April 8 revised/consolidated Ohio Health Director’s Order:

• There no longer is a spectator capacity limit for outdoor venues.

• Spectators are permitted to sit in pods of 10 (rather than six), and they do not have to be from the same household. However, that pod must still maintain six-feet social distancing from other pods or individuals. All other individuals must continue to maintain six-feet social distancing.

• Those not in the contest can be in a pod of 10 if that pod maintains six feet social distancing from other pods/individuals.

• All spectators and those not in the contest, including coaches, must continue to wear facial coverings outdoors if they are unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their family/household (an individual also does not need to wear a facial covering if one of the exceptions is met). Even though CDC guidelines were updated on April 27, the CDC still says “While generally safe for vaccinated people to be outdoors without a mask, CDC continues to recommend requiring masking in crowded settings and venues where there is a decreased ability to maintain physical distance until widespread vaccination coverage is achieved.”

• A local health department has the authority to enact more stringent policies than the Health Director’s Order.

Here is a link to the revised Order of April 8: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/amended-directors-order-for-social-distancing-21.pdf.

A supplemental guidance document that accompanied the revised Order can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Youth-Collegiate-Amateur-Club-Pro-Sports.pdf. Note that it is now a recommendation (rather than a requirement) that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, should not return to sports activities until a documented medical exam is performed clearing the individual for participation. The documented medical exam should specifically include an assessment of the cardiac/heart risk of high-intensity exercise due to the potential of myocarditis occurring in COVID-19 patients.

Also, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced April 27 that any Ohioan who has been fully vaccinated will no longer have to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19 and show no symptoms. This would include our student-athletes. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The April 27 amendment to the Health Director’s Order can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/addendum-to-social-distancing-order-v3-21.pdf.

In addition, the Governor’s Office and Ohio Department of Health are highly encouraging high schools to partner with COVID-19 vaccine providers in their communities to set up vaccination clinics for eligible students. Students below age 18 who are not emancipated must have parental or legal guardian consent for any vaccine.

Spring Tournament Ticketing

All sectional and district ticketing for OHSAA spring tournaments is being handled digitally by the OHSAA’s digital ticketing partner, HomeTown Ticketing, and tickets will be available and open to the public by going to https://www.ohsaa.org/tickets. Unlike the fall and winter tournaments, passcodes will not be utilized unless a tournament manager would like to set up team codes for a particular matchup/event. If that is the case, site managers should contact OHSAA Director of External Affairs Jacki Windon (jwindon@ohsaa.org) to work out details.

Spring Surveys

• Student-Athletes Encouraged to Participate in New University of Wisconsin COVID-19 Study

The OHSAA is encouraging member schools’ student-athletes to participate in a University of Wisconsin research study titled “The Impact of Restarting High School Sports on the Health of Adolescent Athletes.”

The objective of the study, conducted by UW’s Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation within the School of Medicine and Public Health, is to document the effects that sport participation has on the physical activity, quality of life and mental health of adolescent athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their previous studies have found that the cancellation of school and sports in spring 2020 was associated with significant decreases in physical activity, quality of life and mental health.

See previous studies results here:

https://meridian.allenpress.com/jat/article/56/1/11/449349/Mental-Health-Physical-Activity-and-Quality-of

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.12.20248726v1

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.07.21251314v1.

This study will survey athletes to evaluate the impacts of restarting sport participation. Just as important, they hope to also hear from athletes who have and have not been able to restart participation in order to directly evaluate the impacts of sports for adolescents.

To participate, student-athletes (age 13 to 18 years old) are asked to complete a short, anonymous, online survey. Participants are asked to get permission from their parents, after which the survey asks a series of questions regarding current and former sport participation, level of physical activity, anxiety, depression and health-related quality of life.

The research has been approved by the University of Wisconsin Institutional Review Board and is funded by a grant from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). No personal identifiers (name, address, contact information etc.) are being collected from the students who complete the survey, and the data is being collected in such a way that we cannot identify the internet service provider or computer address for any respondent.

The online link to complete the survey is available here: https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a5EPmtGzgpoGokJ.

The deadline to complete the survey is Monday, May 31, at 5 p.m. Please encourage your student-athletes to participate. Once they have analyzed the data, the results will be shared with the hope that the results can help inform ongoing discussions regarding the continuation of sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Athletic Administrators, Football Coaches, Student-Athletes and Parents Encouraged to Participate in NFHS Football Survey

The OHSAA is encouraging member schools’ athletic administrators, football coaches, student-athletes (current and former football players) and parents to participate in a National Federation of State High School Associations football research project, which asks questions about their experiences in football and the benefits of participation.

Here is a link to the survey: https://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/nfhs-high-school-football-survey/.

Once the link is accessed, participants will be able to choose their role and take that specific survey. The deadline is May 28.

The data from this survey can help to inform state association offices and school leaders about the participation and perception trends in their school and perhaps spark strategic efforts to grow/sustain football programs. Once there are enough respondents from Ohio, the OHSAA will receive a link that can be shared with the membership that will show our data.

• NFHS Participation Survey

The NFHS Student Participation Survey is now live on each school’s myOHSAA account. The NFHS Student Participation Survey is conducted annually and is an important data collection tool completed by athletic administrators.

We have made the survey easier to complete by making it available throughout the school year rather than just the end, so the survey no longer needs to be done all at one time. You can add, remove and edit participation numbers any time before the June 1, 2021 deadline.

Referendum Voting Ongoing

Member school principals are reminded that voting on 2021 referendum issues is currently taking place through myOHSAA through May 15 at 4 p.m. There are a total of nine high school issues (there are no 7th-8th grade issues this year), which are outlined at this link: https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/SchoolResources/refvote/FINAL2021-22ReferendumItems.pdf.

OHSAA Director of Compliance Kristin Ronai conducted two virtual Athletic Discussion Meetings to review the referendum items. To view recordings of those meetings, go to: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFId40HIxWrShqcYe1I9MSDmddDFed7w2.

Updated guidance documents as they relate to student eligibility bylaws will be posted on the OHSAA website following the referendum voting sometime the week of May 17. Also posted at that time will be a preseason meeting PowerPoint presentation that schools may consider utilizing for their required preseason meetings with student-athletes and their parents.

Principals may want to consider reviewing the referendum items with their superintendents/heads of school and athletic administrators prior to casting their votes. Per Constitution Article 8-1-9, failure to submit a ballot shall result in a $100 penalty as determined by the OHSAA Board of Directors at its September 21, 2017, meeting (although schools may abstain on issues). To ensure principals have proper access to the ballot, their myOHSAA account set-up must be complete and they should contact their athletic administrator if they need assistance. Additional instructions were sent to member school athletic administrators, but please contact OHSAA membership services (membershipservices@ohsaa.org) if problems still exist.

Spring Sports Dates

Baseball
Tournament Draw/Seed Meeting – Sunday, May 9
Sectionals: May 15-22
Districts: May 24-29
Regionals: June 3-4
State: June 10-12, Akron Canal Park.

Boys Lacrosse and Girls Lacrosse
Tournament Draw/Seed Meeting – Sunday, May 9
Regional Qualifying: May 15-20
Regional Quarterfinals: May 19-22
Regional Semifinals and Finals: May 24-28
State Semifinals and Finals: June 1-5 (finals June 5 at Ohio Wesleyan)

Softball
Sectionals: May 8-15
Districts: May 17-22
Regionals: May 26-29
State: June 3-5, Akron Firestone Stadium Statewide Brackets: http://bit.ly/SBBrackets.

Boys Tennis*
Sectionals: May 10-15
Districts: May 17-22
State: May 28-29, Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason.

Track & Field*
Districts: May 17-22
Regionals: May 26-29
State: June 4-5 (Division I: Hilliard Darby; Division II: Pickerington North; Division III: Westerville North).

*Visit the respective OHSAA District Athletic Board websites for links to school tournament assignments and results: https://www.ohsaa.org/about/districtboards.

OHSAA Award Certificates

The annual OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Awards (Archie Griffin, NFHS Award of Excellence, etc.) are now available through your school’s myOHSAA account for you to print. These awards are available through June 30, 2021, on both high school and 7th & 8th grade school accounts. We encourage school administrators to communicate internally and follow the on-screen instructions and parameters in myOHSAA to select your recipients for each of these awards.

Awards will print in color provided you use a color printer, and you can choose the type of paper used for the printing. Be sure to indicate any special paper used through the printing properties of your printer.

2021-22 Pre-Participation Physical Exam (PPE) Form Available

The Pre-Participation Physical Exam form for the 2021-22 school year is now available on the OHSAA website. The 2021-22 PPE form has been authorized by the OHSAA’s Joint Advisory Committee on Sports Medicine (JACSM).

This physical form was developed for youth student-athletes by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is in its fifth edition. Like last year’s form, our JACSM has chosen to retain all of the questions within the history section, with an addition of COVID-19 related health history questions. There are also two additional, and optional, questions on exercise behavior that supports the Exercise is Medicine initiative. A Spanish version of the history portion of the form is also included on the website.

The medical clearance must be completed once every 13 months and kept on file indefinitely. Although use of this OHSAA-adopted PPE is not required (for example, a school via its Board policy could accept another type of physical exam), signing all four consent forms is required before a student may commence any athletic participation in a member school.

In Ohio, a physician (MD, DO), a doctor of chiropractic (DC), a physician’s assistant (PA) and an advanced practice nurse (ANP) are eligible to complete the exam and sign the form.

Please View April 1 OHSAA Administrator Updates to Answer Questions on the Following:

• Aug. 1 is beginning coaching date for all fall sport practices.

• Clarification on summer coaching in team sports (10-day rule).

• Bylaw 4-4 (Scholarship) waived through the 2020-21 school year.

• Tournament divisions (and enrollment data) to remain the same in 2021-22.

• 2021 Friday Night Futbol. https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/BulletinBoard/20210401AdministratorUpdate.pdf.

Thank you for your attention to this information and for the service you are providing our student-athletes.