Chillicothe City Schools Suspends Athletic Competitions & Extracurricular Activities Until January 5

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Chillicothe City Schools have put a hold on activities until January 5, 2021.

In a statement from CCSD Superintendent Debbie Swinehart:

“District leaders continue to work closely with the Ross County Health District to assess the various risks facing our students and staff.

“Based on recommendations announced today for school athletics, we are suspending all athletic competitions and extracurricular activities, effective immediately until January 5, 2021.

“Unlike other local school districts, our teams often travel outside Ross County to compete. This puts our athletes and coaching staff at a greater risk of exposure and has the potential to further the spread of the virus across our communities. 

“All official games and scrimmages will be postponed and rescheduled for a time when our teams can safely compete together. Practices and skills training in small groups will continue for current CCSD athletes, and our coaching staff will be strictly enforcing all screening and safety protocols, including temperature and symptom checks and increased sanitization of all athletic facilities.

“While this was a difficult decision to make, prioritizing health and safety must be our shared commitment for our school community.”

RCHD Commissioner Garrett Guillozet tells Litter Media he’s met with the superintendents of the county school districts with recommendations regarding school activities and that they come to a consensus. The other districts agreed to move forward with the limiting tickets to two family members per participant, no food concession service and an increase in mask wearing compliance.

Guillozet reaffirmed this was only a recommendation, not a health order.

In a statement made by the Ohio High School Athletic Association Wednesday afternoon “The decision for schools to move forward with sports is a local decision. Schools may certainly choose not to participate in a contest or to pause their season(s) for a period and should do what is in their best interest. The OHSAA believes that our member schools provide student-athletes with the safest possible environment to continue participating, and we all recognize the educational, physical and mental health benefits of participation.”

In a text conversation with Terri Tutt, the Commissioner the Frontier Athletic Conference in which Chillicothe participates, Tutt conveyed to Litter Media “The FAC is committed to giving a priority to league games.” At the time of our exchange, none of the other FAC members had changed their commitment to participating in their scheduled games.

Parents Only: OHSAA Makes Statement on Governor’s Recommendation

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following Governor Mike DeWine’s remarks during his news conference on Tuesday (Nov. 24), the OHSAA, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, recommends that schools restrict attendance to only the parents of the participants, or eliminate all spectators, for their winter sports competitions through December 31, 2020, due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We want to follow this recommendation so that our kids can continue to compete,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “We believe it is crucial that parents be permitted to attend the contests of their children, but large crowds at our indoor athletic contests are not a good idea at this time. We all need to work together to give our kids and schools the best chance at having a full winter season.” 

Schools will determine the process for how parents will attend athletic contests, such as how many are permitted and where they will be placed to watch the contest. 

Regarding media coverage, the OHSAA asks schools to still permit media coverage of their contests, but the number of media attending should be restricted to those who regularly cover the teams involved. Schools are encouraged to provide live video streaming of their athletic contests for those who cannot attend.

The OHSAA provided the following recommendations for member schools:

·        For those schools that decide to admit parents, list the names of the parents on a roster sheet that is located at your ticket window/admission table. This will help clarify who should/should not be admitted and will hopefully eliminate non-parents from attending.

·        Limit media to those who normally cover your school and consider utilizing a streaming service in order for fans to view your contest(s).

·        There is no prohibition on cheerleaders and pep bands, but schools should make their own decisions on these students’ participation and should strongly consider not sending cheerleaders to away contests.

As administrators were notified last week, the OHSAA winter sports seasons are moving forward as planned. That decision was made after the Executive Director’s Office had discussions with the Governor’s Office, the OHSAA Board of Directors and numerous administrators combined with the results of the membership survey in which 56 percent of the 1,464 respondents recommended that the OHSAA begin all winter sports contests as they are currently planned and scheduled.

The decision for schools to move forward with sports is a local decision. Schools may certainly choose not to participate in a contest or to pause their season(s) for a period and should do what is in their best interest. The OHSAA believes that our member schools provide student-athletes with the safest possible environment to continue participating, and we all recognize the educational, physical and mental health benefits of participation.