Dear OHSAA Board of Directors,
As a community of soccer parents, players, coaches and enthusiasts we are writing to you today to insist on the suspension of regulations prohibiting the participation of students in non-school teams during the school team’s season (OHSAA Regulation 7.2.1). At this time, considering the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the combined decisions of US Soccer, US Club Soccer and US Youth Soccer Association to suspend all training, competitions and events it is in the best interest of of Ohio’s high school soccer players that they are able to continue their player development and have access to college exposure throughout the fall months.
OHSAA already handicaps college hopeful soccer players by reducing their access to critical player development during critical developmental years by practically freezing their training opportunities for 4 months of the year. In 2020 this has been compounded by the recent cancellations of training and events. Players typically make their college contacts and have exposure to college coaches during the spring college showcase season (February-May). We are now approaching 4 weeks of college showcase cancellations and are looking forward to several more weeks without training contacts and meaningful development.
It is critical that soccer players in Ohio have the opportunity to train with their clubs, and private trainers throughout the fall of 2020. Players will also require the opportunity to participate in national league play that has been pushed back due to the delay of the spring season and participate in college showcases throughout the country in order to expose collegiate level players to college coaches and programs.
With all of this in mind we collectively propose that OHSAA suspend Regulation 7.2.1 for all team sports. We believe that this will be in the best interest of the schools hosting fall teams as players will not have to choose between playing for and representing their communities or pursuing higher education by way of athletics.
Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your prompt response.