TO:      Member Schools’ Superintendents, Principals and Athletic Administrators       

FR:      OHSAA Executive Director’s Office


The following updates and reminders are being sent electronically to member school superintendents, principals and athletic administrators. Please share this update with other interested administrators and coaches on your staff.


Guidance/Resources for COVID-19

The Executive Director’s Office of the OHSAA has received several inquiries regarding protocols and requirements as they relate to COVID-19 and the upcoming seasons. While no major new mandates are expected, we will share with the membership the Ohio Department of Health’s updated guidance and recommendations, which is expected to be available soon.


Bylaw 4-4 (Scholarship) Important Reminders

•  All student-athletes are eligible, with respect to their OHSAA scholarship eligibility, for the first grading period of the 2021-22

     school year (unless your school chose to enforce your own scholarship standard or unless the student-athlete failed to meet

     your self-established minimum GPA standard).

•  Fall and winter athletes need to be certain they are scheduled for at least five (5) credits at the high school level or four (4) classes

     at the 7th-8th grade level.

•  If an athlete does not pass the five-credit/four-class standard in the first grading period this coming fall, then he/she will   

    become ineligible at the start of the fifth school day of the second grading period. For schools on quarters, this likely will fall

    toward the end of your fall season, rendering these athletes ineligible for the rest of the season. Check your student-athlete

    schedules and work with your guidance counselor to ensure this does not happen!

•  An OHSAA memo has been created a member for your student-athletes to remind them to get scheduled for enough credits/classes

    during the first grading period of the 2021-22 school year. You are encouraged to post this memo to your school website and/or

    print copies and provide them to your athletes. The memo can be obtained at:



• For questions, please contact Kristin Ronai (kronai@ohsaa.org) or Ronald Sayers (rsayers@ohsaa.org) of our compliance staff.


OHSAA Virtual Administrators’ Workshops Upcoming

The OHSAA Executive Director’s staff is planning to conduct “drive-in” athletic administrators workshops at the OHSAA Offices in Columbus on several dates in August. These workshops are primarily designed for new athletic administrators, but returning administrators are certainly welcome to brush up on the various topics that will be covered (compliance, sports administration, myOHSAA and OHSAA finances). Later in August, all administrators will be invited to participate in a general workshop that will cover many of the same topics. Registration materials and further details will be sent to the membership soon.


OHSAA General Sports Regulation Changes for 2021-22 School Year

The OHSAA Board of Directors has approved these changes to the OHSAA General Sports Regulations as recommended by the Executive Director’s Office, effective August 1, 2021:

1.)     The mandatory no-contact period for coaches in the sports of baseball, basketball, ice hockey, lacrosse and softball begins August 1, 2021, and lasts through August 31 (Note: If you recall, this was NOT in effect in 2020). Any coach, paid or volunteer, approved by the Board of Education to coach in those sports is prohibited from providing coaching, providing instruction or supervising conditioning and physical fitness programs or open gyms to members of a school team in their sport in August. This includes any type of tryouts in or out of school for purposes of non-interscholastic competition.

2.)     For the 2021-22 school year, schools ARE PERMITTED to charge admission for interscholastic scrimmages. It has not been determined if this regulation will become permanent.


Coaching Date for Fall Practices

The starting date for coaching for all 2021 OHSAA fall sports is Sunday, August 1. Each school/school district shall determine if they choose to start on that date or later. As a reminder, at the January 14, 2021, OHSAA Board of Directors Meeting, a recommendation was approved that permits schools to complete the first two days of the football acclimatization period in July. During that time, a helmet is the only equipment that may be worn.


Heat Acclimatization and Exertional Heat Illness Prevention

Please review the heat acclimatization and exertional heat illness prevention section in the 2020-21 OHSAA Handbook (the section in the 2021-22 version will be the same) with your coaching and sports medicine staffs prior to any interscholastic practices. The section is on pages 81 and 82 and can be found at https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/SchoolResources/Handbook.pdf. The sport of football has a five-day required acclimatization period and cross country has a 10-day required acclimatization period. All athletes joining the team at any point of the season also must participate in the sport-specific acclimatization period prior to any contact drills (football) or competition (cross country). Visit the sports medicine section of the OHSAA website for additional resources at: https://www.ohsaa.org/medicine.


Mandatory Online Rules Meetings Requirements

General Sports Regulation 2 requires high schools to complete the OHSAA State Rules Interpretation Meeting in each respective sport in order to be eligible to participate in the OHSAA tournament. The online meeting must be completed by either the head coach, assistant coach or athletic administrator prior to the final deadline of the meeting. A late fee of $50 will be charged to each school that does not complete the meeting prior to the first day a contest is allowed in that sport. All state rules interpretation meetings are available through myOHSAA. Make sure your coaches’ myOHSAA accounts are linked to the school’s account through the Staff Management link. 


Preseason Meetings with Student-Athletes and Parents

Bylaw 3‐1‐4 requires member schools to conduct a mandatory preseason meeting with all student‐athletes who desire to participate in the upcoming sports seasons, their parents and booster club officer(s) no later than two weeks after the beginning of each sports season. The OHSAA has developed sample agendas, PowerPoints, cover letters, etc. which can be used to assist you with developing your meeting. These samples are located under the OHSAA Preseason Meeting Information section at: https://www.ohsaa.org/School-Resources. After you have completed your school’s preseason meeting, each school is required to enter the completion date into your school’s myOHSAA account so you are not subject to a $500 penalty as outlined in General Sports Regulation 5. Instructions on how and where to enter your preseason meeting date are located here:



Pre-participation Physical Examinations

The Pre-Participation Physical Exam form for the 2021-22 school year is available on the OHSAA website at:

https://www.ohsaa.org/medicine/physicalexamform. The 2021-22 PPE form has been authorized by the OHSAA’s Joint Advisory Committee on Sports Medicine (JACSM) and was developed for youth student-athletes by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Like last year’s form, our JACSM has chosen to retain all of the questions within the history section. COVID-19 questions have been moved to the “optional” section and are not required to be answered. A Spanish version of the history portion of the form is also included on the website. 


The medical clearance must be completed once every 13 months and kept on file indefinitely. Although use of this OHSAA-adopted PPE is not required (for example, a school via its Board policy could accept another type of physical exam), signing all four consent forms is required before a student may commence any athletic participation in a member school. In Ohio, a physician (MD, DO), a doctor of chiropractic (DC), a physician’s assistant (PA) and an advanced practice nurse (ANP) are eligible to complete the exam and sign the form. 


Tournament Divisions (and Enrollment Data) Remain the Same in 2021-22

Per action by the OHSAA Board of Directors, the 2020-21 enrollment data and tournament divisions will be utilized again in the 2021-22 school year. Constitution Article 6-1-9 allowed the Executive Director’s Office to make this change, and it was subsequently approved by the Board. With some schools not offering sports along with many students transferring to non- traditional learning modules last fall due to COVID-19, the Executive Director’s Office deliberated on how to handle enrollment data, since October 2020 is when the OHSAA traditionally would have received that data (EMIS) from the Ohio Department of Education for use in tournament representation, tournament division breakdowns and classifications for OHSAA District Athletic Board elections. While understanding many schools had various unique enrollment situations this year, it was determined that utilizing the same data for a third and final year was the fairest for all OHSAA member schools since any new data collected would likely be severely skewed and/or an unreliable representation.


In the sport of football, note that the number of schools sponsoring football may change from one year to the next. Therefore, the region assignments and/or division assignments may change. Also, on September 10 as new schools are added or as schools combine districts, they are added to regions and enrollment adjustments for schools within a multiple high school district are made when school closings and/or openings occur within that district.


Athletic Administrators Encouraged to Update Items in myOHSAA

Member school athletic administrators are highly encouraged to login to your myOHSAA account this summer to provide updates in Staff Management (are all your coaches listed?; is your principal listed and is his/her email correct?) and Pre-Season Parent Meetings (have you entered all sport meetings that have already been held?). For more information on how to add staff to your school’s myOHSAA account, please use the video icons on the ‘Staff Management’ page in myOHSAA.


Long-time OHSAA staff member and Manager of Membership Services Brenda Murray has retired from the OHSAA. While her emails will be automatically forwarded to OHSAA Chief Operating Officer Kim Kiehl, we ask for your patience in answering questions on myOHSAA until a replacement for Brenda is hired.


NFHS Virtual National Student Leadership Summit August 8-10

The National Federation of State High School Association will present the second year of its virtual National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS) on August 8, 9 and 10. There is no cost for students to participate, although registration is required. The virtual conference will begin each of those three days at 12:45 p.m., with presentations between 1:00 and 3:00. The NSLS will focus on relevant and contemporary issues facing students participating in interscholastic athletics. For more information, go to:



OHSAA Foundation Virtual Student Leadership Conference October 5

The Ohio High School Athletic Association Foundation will host as many of Ohio’s high schools as possible in a Virtual Student Leadership Conference on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. The virtual platform was created to inspire students to re-think the win-at-all-costs mentality which is so prevalent in youth sports today and provide tools to create a transformational culture, one that builds strong character and leadership traits . . . traits that will benefit them (and their school and community) long after their playing days. Online registration information will be available soon. In the meantime, school administrators are asked to mark their calendars now and think of the best ways to include student leaders of your interscholastic athletics programs in this important opportunity.


OHSAA Sports Administrators Contacts

With several changes within the OHSAA Executive Director’s Office this past year, here is a list of staff members and the sports in which they are assigned to administer:

Name, Title                                                                           Email Address                      Sport(s) Assigned

Beau Rugg, Director of Officiating & Sport Management     brugg@ohsaa.org               football

Emily Mason, Senior Sports Administrator                            emason@ohsaa.org           field hockey, volleyball, bowling, baseball

Tyler Brooks, Sr. Mgr. of Officiating & Sports Administration   tbrooks@ohsaa.org                golf, wrestling, lacrosse

Kate Barnett, Sports Administrator                                        kbarnett@ohsaa.org               soccer, gymnastics, swimming & diving, softball

John Kuzio, Sports Administrator                                           jkuzio@ohsaa.org               cross country, tennis, basketball, track & field

Ronald Sayers, Compliance & Eligibility Specialist                 rsayers@ohsaa.org             ice hockey


Preseason Sport Manuals

The OHSAA Sport Management team is again producing preseason sport manuals in cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer, girls tennis and volleyball. These manuals contain all sorts of reminders and updates that all coaches and athletic administrators should review prior to the official start date of fall practices and contests. Visit the OHSAA website (www.ohsaa.org), where some manuals are already posted, and others will be soon.


Athletic Administrator Welcome Packet

The OHSAA Executive Director’s Office has mailed a beginning-of-the-year Athletic Administrator Welcome Packet to the membership. The packet includes a booklet containing plenty of reminders and updates as we begin the 2021-22 school year, 2021-22 OHSAA wall calendars, an OHSAA ‘who to contact’ directory, a directory of member school telephone numbers and more.


2021 Friday Night Football Information

Friday Night Football will continue in 2021 but the date has been moved up one week due to the change in OHSAA Football Tournament format. The football regular season will now start the week of Aug. 16 (with most schools playing on Friday, Aug. 20), so Friday Night Football has been moved to Friday, Aug. 13. The first official day of practice begins on Aug. 1.  In order to participate, teams (home and away) must complete a service project which will allow the schools involved to play 17 regular season contests. Schools must submit a form to the OHSAA that is located on the OHSAA website (https://www.ohsaa.org/sports/soccer), which describes the community service project. Schools approved to participate will then be permitted to schedule games on any date after Aug. 13. Schools that do not participate in Friday Night Football can start their regular season on Aug. 20.


Thank you for your attention to this information. We hope you are having a restful and enjoyable summer!