‘Most spectators’ barred from Ohio high school events over coronavirus concerns; Conn. cancels tournaments

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | 4:49 PM

Facing concerns about coronavirus, state high school associations across the country are deciding whether to alter their postseason plans.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that “most spectators” would be prohibited from attending state basketball, wrestling and hockey events, while the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference decided to cancel its winter sport tournaments completely.

PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said Tuesday that its tournaments remain on schedule.

Ohio’s decision came soon after Ohio governor Mike DeWine asked that only “athletes, parents and others essential to the game” be allowed to attend all indoor sporting events in the state.

“This will be a very difficult time for our schools and fans, but we cannot ignore the directive of the Governor,” OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said in a statement. “We are pleased that our tournaments can continue and we will soon determine who can attend. However, we can already say that it will most likely be no more than the immediate family of the student-athletes participating in the event.”

Connecticut’s decision impacted boys and girls basketball, boys swimming and hockey.

“The CIAC understands and appreciates the disappointment that student athletes, parents, coaches and administrators may feel as a result of this decision,” CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said. “However, we must always place the health and safety of our student-athletes first.”

Other states, including Colorado and Massachusetts, announced Tuesday that their state tournaments would continue as scheduled.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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