OHSAA cancels winter sports tournaments

Eric Frantz | MaxPreps.com Thursday, March 26, 2020 11:00am

Ohio boys and girls basketball, boys ice hockey and wrestling state tournaments canceled after two-week postponement.

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When her team was removed from the court at Ohio State's St. John Arena minutes before its Division II girls basketball state semifinal and informed in the locker room that the game was postponed indefinitely on March 12, Carroll head coach Cecilia Grosselin felt sad for a special trio.

"We feel bad for the team, especially the seniors (Julia Keller, Allie Stefanek and Jill Roberts)," Grosselin said. "It's always nice to be able to bring closure to a season one way or another, and they won't have that."

Thursday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association offered up an ending.

Following the majority of the nation, Ohio became the latest state to cancel its remaining winter sports tournaments.

Sports affected are boys and girls basketball, boys ice hockey and wrestling. No state champions will be listed for these four sports in 2020. The four winter tournaments and a few events during World War 2 (1941-45) are the only sports cancellations in the history of the OHSAA, which was founded in 1907.

The start of the OHSAA’s spring sports (softball, lacrosse, baseball, track and field and boys tennis) is still postponed.

The OHSAA's announcement came via a press release and not a press conference (due to Ohio's "Stay-at-Home" order).

“We are just devastated that the tournaments cannot be completed,” OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said. “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 added that the OHSAA is looking at ways to honor this year's teams at next year's state tournaments.

The 16 schools that qualified for the girls basketball state tournament and the four teams that qualified for the ice hockey state tournament will all receive state tournament programs. The 672 student-athletes who qualified for the wrestling state tournament will all receive a program, certificate and their weigh-in card.

Regionally, Pennsylvania and West Virginia's winter sports state finals remain postponed, while Indiana, Illinois, New York, Michigan and Kentucky's have all been canceled.