In a message to administrators Thursday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that the OHSAA Dual Team Wrestling Tournament "would be suspended" for the 2020-21 school year.
The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association said they would work with OHSAA to bring the dual-meet tournament format "back into the fold as soon as possible."
We are disheartened with todays announcement of the suspension of the State Dual series for the 20-21 season. As association leaders we are committed to working with OHSAA to bring it back into the fold as soon as possible.— The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Associaton (@ohswca) September 3, 2020
While at first blush one might assume the suspension of the tournament was COVID-related, but as reported by Brad Bournival, the issue is more COVID-related financial realities than on-the-mat health concerns:
WCPO's Mike Dyer reported Thursday that OHSAA's business model is driven by ticket sales, meaning that limitations on attendance at its several tournaments has put a serious crimp in the association's budget.
"As the membership is aware, approximately 80% of the OHSAA’s revenues come from ticket sales at our tournaments," OHSAA interim executive director Bob Goldring said in a memo to member schools.
"Our inability to conduct state tournaments in boys and girls basketball, individual wrestling and ice hockey last winter; to conduct sectional, district, regional and state tournaments in any of our spring sports, and the prospect of conducting all of our tournaments for the 2020-21 school year with spectator capacity limits of 15% (with no more than 1,500 permitted for outdoor events and 300 for indoor events) has already had a significant impact on the association from a financial standpoint."
OHSAA said in its administrator's update that guidance would be coming by the end of next week regarding the upcoming wrestling season in the light of state COVID-related health orders.