Chagrin Valley Conference commissioner Dr. Don Lewis had a virtual meeting with athletic directors from member schools to discuss potential changes to the fall season due to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.
“We want to come up with a policy where everybody’s on the same page so there’s no misunderstandings,” Lewis said.
On Friday, several Ashtabula County schools were not on the same page. After an in-county only fall season suggested by the Ashtabula County health department fell apart, some schools scrambled to recommit to their conferences.
Monday’s meeting didn’t garner any material decisions on whether CVC schools would play in the fall.
“Any decision based on yay or nay or come and go or start or stop is going to have to come down from the superintendents of each individual school district,” Lewis said.
However, Lewis plans on meeting with the superintendents from member schools later this week to discuss more concrete plans moving forward.
One policy brought up in Monday’s meeting was coronavirus testing. The quick test, which reportedly garners 95 percent accurate results costs approximately $25 per test, whereas, the more invasive and accurate, nasal swab test costs $100-$150 per test.
“To my knowledge, no league has brought up COVID testing protocol,” Lewis said. “The CVC needs to develop a group to figure out protocols for COVID testing.”
Then, the discussion shifted to the protocol if a student-athlete or coach were to test positive.
“Here’s where we have to be consistent because if one school says, ‘I get an athlete that tests positive the whole team gets quarantined for two weeks ... ,’” Lewis said. “There’s so many ramifications of testing for coronavirus.”
The group also discussed limiting attendance at games. One idea was to give each athlete two tickets per game for parents.
“That’s going to be difficult to enforce,” Lewis said. “But it’s certainly an option.”
Another idea discussed was “reshuffling” the CVC’s divisions.
This is currently being looked into. However, the idea of shifting divisions within the CVC to match up different communities to make it more geographically desirable has proven to be a challenge.
“We talked about reshuffling the deck, and we’re still working on that,” Lewis said. “It’s not as easy as going, ‘Let’s just rearrange the divisions.’ You can’t take a big division school and pair them against a small division school just because it’s geographically more desirable.’”
The Ohio High School Athletic Association recently sent out a survey with questions about potential alternatives if the coronavirus delays, shortens or cancels the season. A few of those alternatives include — options to shorten the regular season to have a full postseason and vice versa.
Lewis said the CVC’s survey, which is supposed to be sent to the member schools’ superintendent’s in the coming days, covered similar topics. Despite not deciding anything official from Monday’s meeting, Lewis knows one thing.
“All 22 schools in the Chagrin Valley Conference, which represents five counties and almost 40,000 students, have come together and said, ‘We need to come up with a solid plan that we can live with,’” Lewis said.