Return to Play Orders in Ohio Could Sack High School Contact Sports

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt Governor Jon Husted announced today an order “on a short-term basis” that will need to be followed for the resumption of contact sports in Ohio. That order, providing guidance through July 15, will require “testing all players, coaches, athletic trainers, support staff and officials before travel and competition.” It appears this order will cover professional, collegiate and youth sports. Again, keyword here – contact sports.

It just happens that ESPN’s The Basketball Tournament started July 4 at Nationwide Arena and runs through July 14. Lt. governor Husted didn’t specifically name the tournament, but the press release put out by his office says: “Competitive games and tournaments are now permitted for contact sports. During this period, practices and open gyms with another team or club and inter-club/team play are also permitted so long as all teams involved agree to comply with the requirements set forth in the Director’s Order.”

Governor DeWine’s social media team failed to include a date on a tweet sent out announcing these rules for contact sports, sending some into a frenzy thinking he’d made a decision on what it would take to bring back the Ohio high school football season. The state has yet to release those requirements, but if Ohio is pushing these short-term rules in July, one could assume this is what schools could be facing in the fall. Those requirements for contact sports could include “testing of all players, coaches, athletic trainers, support staff, and officials before travel and competition.”

Meanwhile, the state has also launched a mask campaign where they’re asking athletes to tell their friends to wear a mask because “I want a season.” It’s July 7 and we already know what the state contact sport guidance will say through July 15. The first day of high school practice fall camps will be August 1. Do the math here. And then do the math on what it would cost Ohio high schools to test players and staff before games. The New York Times reports that an average coronavirus test costs $100.

It doesn’t take long before you realize high school football in Ohio this fall is in big trouble.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.

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