OHSAA announces six-game regular season for football, expanded playoffs

High School Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced a six-game football regular season with an expanded playoff structure.

Every school will be playoff eligible, if they choose to take part in the postseason. The playoffs will begin Oct. 9. New regions will be determined in September, according to the OHSAA.

The regular season will still begin the week of Aug. 24. However, schools that have currently paused sports could still begin their season in September or early October and compete in the playoffs.

The number of playoffs rounds will depend on the number of schools entering the playoffs in each division.

Coaches in each region will seed playoffs teams in the region to form a bracket.

Schools will also be allowed to play 10 regular season games whether they continue playing after being eliminated from the playoffs or if they decide not to enter the playoffs. All teams must complete their season by Nov. 14.

During Friday coronavirus briefing, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced he and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted will have guidance for high school, college and professional sports some time next week.

The governor signed an order on Aug. 1 allowing for contact sports to hold interclub and scrimmage competitions and for non-contact sports to hold competitions between teams. The order also defined contact sports for the first time.

Contact sports are defined by the following by Ohio:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Rugby
  • Field hockey
  • Soccer
  • Lacrosse
  • Wrestling
  • Hockey
  • Boxing
  • Futsal
  • Martial arts

“When we talk about our students, when we talk about our student athletes, I truly believe that the schools are doing absolutely everything they can to protect our students, whether they’re an athlete or not an athlete, whether they’re in drama or whatever they are in,” Governor DeWine said.

Teams will be allowed to compete provided they follow the guidelines of the state’s order, which include:

  • Testing of all players, coaches, athletic trainers, support staff, and officials before traveling to and while at the competition
  • Conduct daily symptom assessments.
  • Athletic trainers must wear a face covering while attending to players.
  • Coaches and officials are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when possible.
  • Strict social distancing by players who are not actively engaged in practice or competition.
  • Immediate isolation and medical care for someone who develops symptoms.

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