Ohio High School Athletic Association cancels winter sports championships

Thursday, March 26, 2020 | 2:07 PM

The winter season is over for high school athletes in Ohio.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that it has canceled the remainder of its winter sports tournaments in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

OHSAA had postponed its wrestling, basketball and ice hockey state tournaments March 12.

OHSAA officials said they are still hoping to start the spring sports season at some point, though Ohio schools are not expected to reopen for several weeks.

“We are just devastated that the tournaments cannot be completed,” OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said in a statement. “But our priority is the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, communities and officials.

“Governor Mike DeWine is asking all Ohioans to do everything they can to stop the spread of this virus. That request, along with our schools not being able to reopen for weeks, means that school sports cannot happen at this time. Even if our schools reopen this spring, it will be difficult to find facilities willing to host the tournaments. Most campuses are shut down until mid to late summer.”

Snodgrass said OHSAA is planning for ways to honor student athletes at next year’s state tournaments.

In Pennsylvania on Monday, PIAA officials extended the postponement of the possible restart of the winter basketball and swimming championships and the start of the spring sports season.

No date for resumed play has been determined by the PIAA, which halted its basketball and swimming championships in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The earliest students could return to school is April 6, tentatively.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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