Normally buzzing preparing for the upcoming season, Don E. Selvey Field, home of the Jay County High School baseball team, is vacant as spring sports are still in limbo as worries of coronavirus makes its way across the country. The IHSAA on Thursday said it hopes to resume the season May 1 and still hold its postseason tournaments. (The Commercial Review/Chris Schanz)
Normally buzzing preparing for the upcoming season, Don E. Selvey Field, home of the Jay County High School baseball team, is vacant as spring sports are still in limbo as worries of coronavirus makes its way across the country. The IHSAA on Thursday said it hopes to resume the season May 1 and still hold its postseason tournaments. (The Commercial Review/Chris Schanz)
INDIANAPOLIS and COLUMBUS, Ohio — There is a glimmer of hope spring sports will continue.

The IHSAA on Thursday announced further adjustments to the spring sports schedule following an executive order from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to close schools through May 1.

The organization also officially canceled the boys basketball tournament. The OHSAA has yet to nix its winter sports tournaments and expects its spring seasons to begin on its new schedule.

The school closure Holcomb announced represents a three-week extension to the mandate set forth by Jay School Corporation to close its facilities until April 10.

But the IHSAA is hoping athletes will get to compete this spring.

“Currently, we still intend to stage an abbreviated spring sports program,” IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox said in a statement.

The statement also said athletes in those spring sports — track and field, softball, baseball, boys golf and girls tennis — will only need five practices prior to participation in any contest. This is half the normal required number of practices necessary for ordinary participation.

“We trust these accommodations allow our students the ability to maintain a certain level of fitness during this time of school closure and hopefully return to competition yet this spring,” Cox’s statement continued. “We appreciate and thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.

“If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. Be safe and healthy.”

Under these new circumstances, and barring any further setbacks, the earliest the IHSAA spring sports season can begin is May 8.

This is how many events for each Jay County High School spring sports teams will be affected in terms of events canceled, as the season was originally scheduled to begin Monday for softball and March 30 for boys golf, girls tennis and baseball (track’s indoor schedule started March 2):

•Baseball: 18 games

•Boys golf: nine matches, three tournaments

•Girls tennis: 10 matches, one tournament

•Track and field: 10 total outdoor meets

•Softball: 15 games

Also on Thursday, Cox announced the boys basketball state tournament has officially been canceled.

“It is with great sadness and disappointment that we inform Hoosiers of the cancelation of the remaining games of the 2020 IHSAA boys basketball tournament series,” Cox said in statement. “While the Association maintained eery hope of continuance, it is now evident those hopes are now unreachable. Albeit there will not be regional, semi-state and state champions crowned across our four classifications, the health and safety of our public remains paramount and our primary focus.”

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass said the state tournaments for the remaining winter sports — boys and girls basketball, wrestling and ice hockey — are suspended indefinitely, but the window of opportunity to resume them is closing rapidly.

“We do that for simple reasons,” Snodgrass said. “We realize there are so many other factors that people do not realize; site availability, coach’s availability, officials and the risk category … that the OHSAA cannot and will not subject to being faced with being infected by this virus.”

Ohio high schools have ceased any practices, scrimmages and workouts until April 6, and while Snodgrass said he encourages coaches to be in constant electronic contact with their players, he reiterated here is still no in-person contact allowed.

Again, assuming nothing changes in the immediate future, mandatory practices will be allowed from April 6 through 10, with regular-season contests beginning April 11.

As of now, all spring tournaments will go on as scheduled, but Snodgrass noted those could change at any minute with any sort of new directive from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

“It does not mean at this point that we are canceling spring sports, but is canceling on the table?” Snodgrass said. “It absolutely has to be on the table.”