Ohio allows practices for contact sports to resume June 22


TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – As state officials lift some restrictions on sports, local school districts are working to decide how to proceed with their teams’ practices.

At a news conference Thursday, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced some scrimmages and full training for contact sports may resume starting Monday.

Monday marks the start of the second of three phases to fully resume athletic competition, Husted said. In late May, teams were allowed to resume skills training.

The basketball teams at Trotwood-Madison High School have been practicing since early June, with players trying to keep up their skills while also keeping a safe distance apart.

“I think it’s a good thing that we’re able to work out now because we’re able to bring up that team bonding,” said Courtney Blake, a senior on Trotwood’s basketball team.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, physical contact will only be allowed within the rules of the game, meaning no huddles or high-fives allowed. Social distancing of six feet is required of everyone off the field or court, and congregating before or after practice is not permitted.

“That’s a big leap from, again, the initial plan from Phase 1 and Phase 2 to now to having the ability to have contact,” said Frank Russo, Trotwood-Madison High School’s athletic director, of the new phase.

Russo told 2 NEWS he is working with coaches and administrators to make a decision on how Trotwood’s teams should proceed.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) worked with the Ohio Department of Health on the decision to move forward to the next phase of resuming athletics, Husted said.

Jerry Snodgrass, executive director of the OHSAA, told 2 NEWS he is working to form a task force to focus on plans for fall sports.

“The highest risk is taking kids from one geographic area to another geographic area,” Snodgrass said. “So we have to keep that in mind.”

Snodgrass said he feels “confident” about fall sports this year – but admitted there’s a lot of uncertainty.

Blake told 2 NEWS he remains optimistic about this year’s basketball season.

“We don’t know what’s going to come of the coronavirus, but I think we’re going to be able to play safely together,” Blake said. “As long as we take the right precautions.”

The OHSAA is sending updated guidance to school districts, Snodgrass said.

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