OHSAA shuffles state sites for some
COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors layed out the groundwork for its upcoming tournaments at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting held Thursday morning.
The regional and state basketball tournament sites are all to be determined. It is not yet known which of the previously announced sites will permit events to be held at their venue, or which will allow spectators. The OHSAA intends to use neutral sites for the regional tournaments.
The state individual wrestling tournament will not be held at the Schottenstein Center, which is not able to host the event this year. The OHSAA is seeking three high schools, preferably in Central Ohio due to travel considerations, to each host a division. The district and state tournaments will include split sessions, with seven weight classes competing at a time, followed by a break and then the other seven weight classes. Spectator limitations are to be determined.
The state bowling tournaments will remain at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl February 26-27 (Division II) and March 5-6 (Division I). The number of bowlers on qualifying teams will be reduced from eight to six bowlers per the COVID-19 Guidelines established in the fall. The number of spectators permitted is still to be determined.
The state swimming tournament will remain at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton Feb. 24-27, but the format will be adjusted to remove preliminary sessions in swimming and complete each division in one day (timed finals) and allow a minimal number of people on the pool deck. The Division II girls swimming and diving finals will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24, followed by Division II boys on Thursday, Feb. 25, Division I girls on Friday, Feb. 26 and Division I boys on Saturday, Feb. 27. Two spectators will be permitted for each diving state qualifier, while only one spectator will be permitted for each swimming state qualifier. Also of note, several sectional and district tournaments do not yet have a pool confirmed to host the event.
The state tournament will remain at Hilliard Bradley High School March 5-6, but the format and some traditional aspects of the state tournament will be adjusted, along with reduced number of spectators.
The state tournament venue is to be determined, as it is not yet known if Nationwide Arena will be able to host the event. Also of note, the two district tournaments in Northeast Ohio will both be held at the Brooklyn Recreation Center instead of having one tournament at Kent State University, which is not able to host the event. Spectator limitations are to be determined.
¯ The first Friday of the football regular-season is August 20 and the regular-season will conclude on October 23, followed by six weeks of playoffs instead of five weeks (top 12 teams in each regional will qualify for the postseason).
¯ The board tabled a proposal from the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches (OATCCC) to expand the track and field tournament to four divisions. At this time, the OHSAA’s focus is to conduct the 2021 season and tournament series, as a number of issues still need to be discussed regarding a potential expansion to four divisions. The site of the 2021 state tournament is still to be determined.
¯ The board approved Joe Siefke, Superintendent of Lisbon Exempted Village School District, to serve as an interim Class A representative on the Northeast District Athletic Board.