CURRENT NO-CONTACT RULE
In recent correspondences sent to school administrators, our office has issued a no-contact period for all OHSAA sports through May 1. This no-contact period for OHSAA member schools has now been extended to June 1, 2020. This is to assist with Governor DeWine’s stay-at-home order and to ensure that school facilities remain closed and are not opened to school coaches and/or athletes. Further, per an order signed by Dr. Amy Acton, Director of Health,on April 29, 2020, all school buildings that provide any K-12 instruction are to remain closed to students until 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2020.
To read the full order, please follow this link: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/Second-Amended-Order-the-Closure-K-12-Schools-Ohio-Reader.pdf.
As a reminder, this no-contact period prohibits any coach, paid or volunteer, to provide coaching,instruction or supervising conditioning and physical fitness programs or open gyms, to members of a school team in their sports. This does not include communication to your student-athletes, nor does it include electronic individual workouts, as long as those workouts can be done individually and do not promotegroup gatherings.
The maximum penalty for violating the no-contact period shall result in ineligibility for the head coach to coach in the first round of the postseason tournament in that respective sport for which the violation occurred. Per Bylaw 11, penalties are assessed as they are deemed appropriate by the OHSAA administrative staff. Electronic communication and programming is still permitted, as long as it continues to discourage any type of group instruction or gatherings. We understand the importance of any type of instruction or communication that can be provided to your student-athletes during this uncertain time for the mental well-being of your student-athletes, which we highly encourage. As always, we will re-evaluate should there be any different directives from the Governor’s office.
PARTICIPATION WITH NON-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
While we have extended our no-contact period regarding our coaches and student-athletes to June 1, we are not able to restrict students’ competing with non-interscholastic teams and/or programs. However, the Governor’s stay-at-homeorders and social distancing guidelines do apply to these non-interscholastic programs and teams. We recommend that you keep up to date with the Governor’s mandates and work with your non-interscholastic organization to find out when your student athlete can begin competition. Further, our regulations regarding the 50% limitation and no-contact period must be observed. Failure to observe these regulations will result in a penalty being applied.
REGULATION CHANGES APPROVED BY BOARD ON APRIL 30, 2020
A reminder that any directive established from the Governor’s office shall supersede the following.General Sport Regulation 7.1.4–Definition of a Member of a School Team/Team Member (Bylaw 4-1-3) Suspends the definition of a member of a school team for the 2020 spring sport athletes.
Summary of change: suspends the definition of a member of a school team for the 2020 spring sport athletes. Please be aware this suspension applies to spring sport athletes in the year of 2020 only.The definition of a member of a school team indicates that a student-athlete must participate in an interscholastic contest [or scrimmage] to be considered a member of the school team.
Since spring sport seasons were cancelled prior to many scrimmages and/or contests being played, a 2020 spring sport athlete is now considered a member of the school team as soon as he/she made the team and Regulations shall apply as such.General Sports Regulation 7.3.1 a, b & c –Regulations Permitting Students to Participate on Non-School Teams Outside of the School Team’s Season–Team Sports (Other than Football)—Adds the following statements:In a),“Rotating players” from the same school team is not permitted in the 50 percent player limitation.In b), changes the period during which the 50% limitation is not in effect to June 1 –August 31, 2020, only in the sports of basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball.In c), extend the period during which the 50% limitation is not in effect for baseball and softball players from the Friday before Memorial Day through August 31, 2020, only.
Summary of changes: the 50% limitation is not in effect from June 1 –July 31in the sports of basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball and not in effect from the Friday prior to Memorial Day –July 31 for baseball and softball. For the summer of 2020 only, the 50% limitation is not in effect untilAugust 31, instead of July 31. This permission has been extended until August 31 for 2020 only. The regular period of June 1 –July 31 will remain beginning on June 1, 2021.
General Sports Regulation 7.5.1 –Regulations Permitting Coaches to Coach Their Own Student-Athletes on Non-School Teams Outside of the School Team’s Season –Team Sports–Removes any reference to 10 days (i.e., 10-day Rule, maximum of 10 days, explanation of 10-day limitation).Adds the following statement:The extension of these dates through August 31 is valid only for the 2020 summer period.Beginning with the 2021 summer period, the period of unrestricted coaching for interscholastic team sports coaches with their student-athletes will return to the period from June 1-July 31.
Summary of changes: Eliminates the 10-day restriction for team sports coaches from June 1-August 31, 2020, and thereafter from June 1–July 31.General Sports Regulation 11.2 –Mandatory No-Contact Period for Coaches–Adds a note that the OHSAA has suspended GSR 11.2 for all interscholastic coaches in the spring team sports of baseball, lacrosse and softball and for the winter team sports of ice hockey and basketball for the period from August 1-August 31, 2020, only.
Q & A’s!
Q: Can my student-athlete participate with a non-school program during the no-contact period?
A: Per the Governor’s stay-at-homeorders and social distancing guidelines, we take that to mean there would be no non-school programs occurring at this time in the state of Ohio. If there comes a time during the established no-contact period where any type of the Governor’s restrictions are lifted, OHSAA student-athletes must adhere to our 50% limitation and all other regulations established as it relates to participating with non-school programs—please see General Sport Regulation 7 for further details and the penalties that are applied if violated.
Q: Do graduating seniors count?
A: No. As referenced in the Exceptions under GSR 7.3.1, item “E” states that graduating seniors are exempt from the 50% limitation once their school season in the same sport has been completed. All sport seasons for the 2019-20 have been completed, so any of your athletes graduating would be exempt from the 50% limitation for participating with non-school programs.
Q: If a spring sport student-athlete did not participate in a scrimmage, prior to spring sports being cancelled, would these Regulations apply to them?
A: YES. With the spring sport season being cancelled prior to contests taking place, our office has established a new definition of a member of a school team for spring sport athletes for the 2020 season (only). A spring sport athlete is considered a member of their school team as soon as they made the team and were rostered, so all rostered athletes for spring sports shall be defined as a member of their school team.
Q: Can our school coach physically coach/instruct a player if they are safely practicing social distancing?
A: Not during the established no-contact period taking place until June 1. There may be no physical gatherings of any kind during this no-contact period and school facilities shall remain closed to these types of requests.
Q: Can my student-athletes get together at the school if there are only a few of them present?
A: No—there shall be no group gatherings during this no-contact period and school facilities shall be closed to their coaches and student-athletes.
Q: What is the penalty for violating the no-contact period set in place until June 1?
A: Per Bylaw 11, penalties shall be applied as deemed appropriate by the OHSAA administrative staff. The maximum penalty for violating the no-contact period shall be, but is not limited to, ineligibility for the head coach to coach in the first round of the postseason tournament in that respective sport for which the violation occurred.
Q: Can all sports provide virtual instruction during this no-contact period?
A:Yes!And it is highly encouraged to keep your athletes motivated and to build a sense of community and mental well-being. We must reemphasize that with any type of instruction or workout provided, must be able to be done individually and discourage group gatherings to complete the workouts and/or instruction.
Q: Does this no-contact period apply to all sports or just spring sports?
A:The no-contact period applies to all OHSAA sports and member schools.
Q: Can a local trainer post a video each week with instruction, the athletes complete the instruction on their own and send the film to their coach?
A: Yes, this would be considered electronic instruction and is permitted and encouraged during this time, as long as it is not promoting athletes getting together in groups to complete the instruction.
Q: Can our school conduct virtual cheer tryouts during this time?
A: While the OHSAA does not govern the sport of cheerleading in the state of Ohio, we have received this question and want to address it. We can only recommend that the tryouts remain virtual/electronic to discourage any type of physical group gatherings. However, please reference any rules or regulations applied by your school district or the Ohio Association for Secondary