XENIA — Greater Western Ohio Conference teams will not play any non-conference games this fall.
The conference made a statement on its website after superintendents and the executive board met to discuss the fall season, which is scheduled to begin Saturday, Aug. 1.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic there have been many changes to our way of life and the GWOC is adapting to those changes,” the statement said. “As such, the GWOC has made the decision that all athletic contests played during the fall athletic season will be played against GWOC member schools only.”
That ruling will apply to all sports.
“This was a difficult decision but one that was made in the best interest of our student-athletes,” the conference said. “The primary focus is to provide the student-athletes every opportunity to compete and this decision helps achieve that. While we realize challenges await we will remain flexible and adaptable to inevitable challenges that await as we navigate the pandemic.”
This change could affect football the most, as not every team qualifies for the post-season. Football teams usually play 10 regular-season games and use non-conference games — GWOC teams typically play three — as a way to build up more computer points, which determine playoff qualifiers. Points are earned for defeating teams and when those teams continue to win. The GWOC did not indicate if teams will add more conference games or just play seven games. The computer does adjust points for teams that play fewer than 10 to make it fair for all.
Football has not been cleared for games by the state yet.
Currently, low/non-contact sports (golf, girls tennis, and volleyball) can hold school versus school scrimmages and contests per normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations. School versus school competitions in contact sports of football, soccer, field hockey, and cross country are suspended, Ohio High School Athletic Association Interim Executive Director Bob Goldring recently said in a memo to superintendents, principals, and athletic administrators.
GWOC teams are Beavercreek, Centerville, Fairmont, Miamisburg, Northmont, Springboro, Springfield, and Wayne.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.