COLUMBUS – How to conduct winter sports state tournament amid the pandemic took center stage during the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors meeting Thursday morning.,- The Board was updated by the OHSAA staff regarding the upcoming winter sports tournaments, with adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.,o SWIMMING AND DIVING The state tournament will remain at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton Feb. 24 to 27, but the format will be adjusted to remove preliminary sessions in swimming and complete each division in one day (timed finals) and allow a minimal number of people on the pool deck.,o GYMNASTICS The state tournament will remain at Hilliard Bradley High School March 5-6, but the format and some traditional aspects of the state tournament will be adjusted, along with reduced number of spectators.,o FOOTBALL - The board approved the 2021 football regulations, which include adjustments due to the 2021 regular-season beginning a week earlier so that the playoffs can be expanded (as announced in May 2020: Of note, schools may fulfill two of the required five acclimatization days in July in advance of official practice beginning on Sunday, Aug. 1.

The boys basketball coaches at Orange County’s private high schools are advancing closer toward creating a club-type league that could take the place of the CIF Southern Section season if it is canceled or greatly reduced because of the pandemic.,Coaches at Trinity League and other private schools will have a Zoom meeting Tuesday, Jan. 12 to discuss options for a season that would be held during the spring.,Becoming a club league, with no school associations, would be a last resort, according to Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight, who has a leadership role in the coaches’ efforts to figure out a way for a 2021 spring season to occur.,Figuring it is a longshot that all seven counties will get to the yellow tier by the time the season is supposed to start, McKnight and other O.C. boys basketball coaches are examining options for an all-Orange County private school league.,McKnight said with other counties perhaps having a more difficult time getting to the yellow tier, an all-O.C. league might provide the best chance for having a season.