COLUMBUS — Many questions still remain for the start of high school sports in the fall but the Ohio High School Athletic Administration remains confident that the season will move forward as planned.

In a letter to member schools earlier in the week, OHSAA stated that they continue to have conversations with the governor’s office and the Ohio Department of Health to ensure they are all on the same page.

Golf, tennis and volleyball, which are considered low/non-contact sports have been approved and are set to move forward. However, football, field hockey, soccer and cross country remain up for debate as OHSAA waits for more guidance from Governor Mike DeWine.

The OHSAA will continue to have conversations regarding the status of field hockey and cross country being placed into the low/non-contact category and will provide more information at a later date.

Official practices are still set to begin today for contact sports but scrimmages were suspended indefinitely. OHSAA did not anticipate that decision changing anytime soon and left open the possibility that no scrimmages will take place this year.

Last week, Cleveland area schools pushed back their start date for fall sports to October and on Thursday, Toledo followed suit. On Friday, the things changed again with all Toledo public schools canceling the fall sports season. The decisions have created scheduling gaps and sent some local schools scrambling to fill the void. Lima Senior was set to play Toledo Bowsher in week one of the football season and LCC had Toledo Rogers on the schedule for week five.

Also, 10 soccer and volleyball games in the area will be impacted by the decision out of Toledo this week.

“Our discussions with the governor’s office are clear”, the letter went on to say. “If we want our student-athletes to learn the lifelong lessons and receive the social, emotional and physical benefits that the privilege of participating in education-based interscholastic athletics programs provide, we all have to be accountable for following all mandates and requirements. By not following the mandates and requirements, we are putting our student-athletes at risk of not only contracting and/or spreading COVID-19 but also at risk of losing the season for themselves, their families, their teammates, their schools and their communities. Mandates and requirements put into place must be followed in order for the governor’s office to continue to allow us to participate.”

On Friday, the OHSAA reiterated their plan to start the season on time but also said that if contact sports are not approved by Sep. 4, those sports would be postponed for the fall. There would then be three condensed season between mid-December and June.