The purpose of this communication is to update you and attempt to eliminate any confusion moving forward.  As you may or may not have heard, there was new news and guidelines that came from the Governor's office yesterday.  It was stated that sports could now move into Phase 2 of the return to play.  Initially, we had intended to move into Phase 2 anyways. 

What does this mean?  This mean starting Monday, June 22, all teams can begin phase 2.  Phase two means teams can start scrimmages and you can have groups of 50 in a spot at one time, but it is recommended that if you are not in the scrimmage or training then you need to still stay 6 feet apart.  It was stated by the OHSAA Executive Commissioner that teams should still try to use training PODS or different groups so you don't have to worry about the social distance aspect.

As for the scrimmages, these scrimmages CAN'T BE AGAINST OTHER TEAMS.  They can only be against kids from your community (such as in an open gym) or kids on your team.  These scrimmages can include 5V5, 7V7 or 3V3. 

In Phase 2, the weight room can be used, but the equipment has to be wiped down after every set and spotters have to be on the ends of the bars not directly over the athlete lifting.

When can we start into phase 3, which is essentially back to normal with sports?  This question was posed and the governor did not want to commit to a date.  It was stated by the OHSAA that they would assume this date would be July 6 or July 13th, depending on how the cases across the state pan out.

The below message summarizes everything currently in phase 2 as far as TEAM CAMPS, OUT OF STATE COMPETITIONS, SHOWCASES and the True DEFINITION OF SCRIMMAGES

Responsible RestartOhio for Contact and Non-Contact Sports: Practices & Competitions:

Governor’s Announcements to Responsibly Restart Sports:

As mentioned, we were involved in the recommendations that led to Thursday's advances.  An important overview of Thursday’s announcement is below:

“Phases”:  Maybe the biggest area of confusion that could occur.  Recently, the OHSAA provided a guidance document that listed ‘Phases’ to re-open sports that utilize school facilities – everything from gyms to fields to weight rooms.  That guidance recommended PHASES to slowly and safely open up to the permissions granted by the Governor’s orders for low/no-contact sports as well as contact sports as defined by the Governor.  At that time, there were no ‘phases’ outlined by the Governor – simply a ‘date’ for responsibly restarting those programs (low/no contact and contact).  Today, they outlined Phases for what the Governor’s orders will now permit.  The Phases provided by the Governor today and the Phases previously provided by the OHSAA are two entirely separate documents.  If we had known the Governor would release ‘phases,’ we may have chosen to use a different term.  This is important to note since these words could lead to possible confusion.

Phase 2 Announced Thursday . . . What was Phase 1?

With Thursday’s announcement, the permissions granted on May 26 for low/no-contact sports and contact sports (skill training) are being revised on the website to now be called “Phase 1.” Phase 1 is what is currently permitted by the Governor’s office in respect to competition and skill training that was permitted beginning on May 26.

Phase 2 Announced Thursday . . . What exactly does that mean?

With Thursday’s announcement, Phase 2 permissions will begin on Monday, June 22.  Mandatory and recommended restrictions are posted at: Please read these carefully and we would recommend making sure all athletes understand the guidelines


-        Beginning Monday, June 22, schools may now have open gyms/open fields/workouts/training for Contact Sports.

-        All NON/LOW-Contact sports may continue with competitions previously granted beginning May 26.

-        Daily assessments of participants must still occur as previously required.

-        “Spectators” (parents, others) are permitted but must follow restrictions that include social distancing.

-        While there is no restriction on the number permitted to attend Open Gyms/Fields/Facilities, any individuals not participating in intra-team play or skill sessions must remain socially distanced.  Example: If you have 20 individuals playing in two open gym cross court games, any remaining individuals must remain socially distanced when not playing.  Consider limiting attendance for this reason.

-        Athletic Trainers have restrictions identified that include wearing facemasks when treating an individual.

-        Skill Training identified from May 26 may still occur.

-        There is no REQUIREMENT that any school must begin Phase 2 on June 22.  It is merely permitted to begin on June 22.

-        Since the OHSAA’s “10-Day Rule” has been waived for the summer of 2020, there is no limit to the number of days in which coaches/schools may conduct open gyms/open fields/workouts/training.

-        Local Health Departments continue to be given control/oversight of schools and facilities within their jurisdiction.  They retain the right to restrict permissions in Phase 2.


-        Strongly consider limiting attendance at Open Gyms/Open Fields and weightlifting to students

-        Consider assigning oversight to one staff member to comply with all mandated and recommended restrictions.

-        Consider limiting attendance at ‘open gyms/fields’ to ensure social distancing for those not directly involved in participating.

Note 1:  The word “Scrimmages” is used in regulations within Phase 2.  In school sport language, the term ‘scrimmage’ generally references competitions between schools that do not have to follow all the normal playing rules of the game.  In the context of the Governor’s orders, ‘scrimmage’ refers to games/competitions being played only with members attending our ‘Open Gym’ or ‘workout.’  Competitions between different schools or communities is NOT permitted at any time during Phase 2 for contact sports. NO ‘7 on 7’s,’ ‘Summer Tournaments’ or ‘Team Camps’ involving different schools or communities is permitted for contact sports during Phase 2.

Note 2:  While many of us have received communications from different venues/colleges announcing ‘Team Camps,’ there is still no date announced by the Governor in which these would be permitted.  Under Phase 2 restrictions, they currently are not permitted.

Note 3:  Many have asked about teams participating in out-of-state ‘events/competitions,’ especially in Indiana. Each state has different restrictions.  While CDC guidelines for sports lists individuals/teams from one geographic area traveling to another geographic areas as the highest risk for spreading COVID-19, there are no mandated restrictions.

Note 4: While “Phase 3” appears as the inevitable next step, there has been NO suggestion or indication of what the date for launching “Phase 3” would be

 OHSAA Compliance
- Take time to view information at the following link:  If you are a transfer student, there is paperwork we need to get turned in ASAP to begin the eligibility process.

LASTLY, The Athletic Trainers are working on solidifying dates, but it looks like the 3rd week in July for in person physicals.  More information will be given out in regards to these physicals.  If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact the athletic office.

Denny Ziegler
Strongsville City Schools Athletics Administration