OHSAA Updates and Precautions as Fall Sports Begin
Media regulations, Board of Directors, academic requirements and divisional breakdowns also covered
COLUMBUS, Ohio – With practices for all fall sports beginning this Sunday, August 1 and the season kicking off later that month, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has sent updates and reminder to it 817 member high schools and 747 member 7th and 8th grade schools.
School administrators and coaches are asked to review the heat acclimatization and exertional heat illness prevention section in the OHSAA Handbook prior to any interscholastic practices. The section is on pages 81 and 82 and can be found at https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/SchoolResources/Handbook.pdf
. The sport of football has a five-day required acclimatization period and cross country has a 10-day required acclimatization period. All athletes joining the team at any point of the season also must participate in the sport-specific acclimatization period prior to any contact drills (football) or competition (cross country). Visit the sports medicine section of the OHSAA website for additional resources at: https://www.ohsaa.org/medicine
The Ohio Department of Health released newly revised guidance for K-12 schools on Tuesday, July 27, with some information related to interscholastic sports. Although Ohio lifted most statewide pandemic-related health orders on June 2, 2021, the risk is still there for illness from COVID-19. The OHSAA and ODH urge the membership to continue to follow safe protocols to protect everyone, especially those individuals who are not fully vaccinated. There are currently no mandates regarding vaccinations and social distancing, and the only mandate on masks is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirement that masks be worn while using public transportation, which includes school busses. It is highly recommended that coaches and student-athletes who are eligible for vaccinations to be vaccinated and it is highly recommended that those who are unvaccinated maintain social distancing and wear masks in indoor facilities and in outdoor facilities where there are crowded situations.
2021-22 Media Regulations
The 2021-22 OHSAA Media Regulations have been approved by the Board of Directors. Similar to last year, for all regular-season events, including all sports and all days of the week, the host school controls all media access and broadcasting permissions, including live video. The OHSAA asks host schools to accommodate the broadcast requests for the visiting school.
For OHSAA postseason tournament contests, Spectrum has exclusive access for live video (TV and streaming) at selected football playoff games, along with the girls and boys basketball state tournaments. The NFHS Network also has exclusive access for live video streaming at selected tournament contests in several sports. If the NFHS Network is covering a contest, delayed video is still permitted with payment of a rights fee. If neither Spectrum nor
the NFHS Network is covering a contest, live video is permitted for some contests with payment of a rights fee. The Board will approve the postseason broadcast rates in August. Media shall contact Tim Stried for details.
2021-22 OHSAA Board of Directors
The OHSAA would like to thank all school administrators who are serving on District Athletic Boards. The following administrators will serve as the 2021-22 OHSAA Board of Directors:
Scott Kaufman, Board President; Athletic Director/Assistant Principal, Lakota West High School (Class AAA Representative-Board of Directors thru 2022)
Steve Watkins, Board Vice President; Principal, Dalton Middle School (7th-8th Grade Representative-Board of Directors thru 2022)
Bo Arnett, Dean of Students/Athletic Director, Waverly High School (Class AAA Representative-Board of Directors thru 2024)
Ryan Fitzgerald, Athletic Director, Hamilton Twp High School (Class AA Representative-Board of Directors thru 2022)
Gina Franks, Director of Student Services, Dover High School (Female Representative-Board of Directors thru 2024)
Gary Kreinbrink, Athletic Director, Leipsic High School (Class A Representative-Board of Directors thru 2022)
Dr. William R. Nye, Jr., Superintendent, Grand Valley Local Schools (Class A Representative-Board of Directors thru 2024)
Jeff Wheeler, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director, Meadowbrook High School/Middle School (Class AA Representative-Board of Directors thru 2024)
TBA – Ethic Minority Representative-Board of Directors thru 2022)
Glen Gillespie, (ex-officio, Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association)
Dr. John Richard, Deputy State Superintendent, Ohio Department of Education (ex-officio, State Department of Education Representative)
Academic Eligibility Reminder
A reminder that for the first grading period of the 2021-22 school year, the OHSAA has suspended the academic requirement that student-athletes must have passed five one-credit courses (or four classes at the 7th/8th grade level) in the final grading period of the 2020-21 school year. Therefore, all student-athletes are eligible with respect to their OHSAA scholarship eligibility, for the first grading period of the 2021-22, unless a school chooses to enforce its own scholarship standard.
However, the OHSAA’s academic requirement will be back in use for the second grading period. That means that fall and winter student-athletes need to be certain they pass at least five one-credit courses at the high school level or four classes at the 7th-8th grade level.
Divisional Breakdowns Remain the Same for 2021-22
Per action by the OHSAA Board of Directors, the 2020-21 enrollment data and tournament divisions will be utilized again in the 2021-22 school year. With some schools not offering sports along with many students transferring to non- traditional learning modules last fall due to COVID-19, the Executive Director’s Office deliberated on how to handle enrollment data, since October 2020 is when the OHSAA traditionally would have received that data (EMIS) from the Ohio Department of Education for use in tournament representation, tournament division breakdowns and classifications for OHSAA District Athletic Board elections. While understanding many schools had various unique enrollment situations this year, it was determined that utilizing the same data for a third and final year was the fairest for all OHSAA member schools since any new data collected would likely be severely skewed and/or an unreliable representation. Constitution Article 6-1-9 allowed the Executive Director’s Office to make this change, and it was subsequently approved by the Board.
Fall Sports (Official Practice Begins August 1)
The starting date for coaching for all 2021 OHSAA fall sports is Sunday, August 1. Each school/school district shall determine if they choose to start on that date or later. As a reminder, at the January 14, 2021, OHSAA Board of Directors Meeting, a recommendation was approved that permits schools to complete the first two days of the football acclimatization period in July. During that time, a helmet is the only equipment that may be worn.