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Ohio permits high school wrestling to commence amid COVID pandemic — as long as wrestlers don't shake hands

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Yeah, that makes sense

Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Ohio lawmakers are now permitting high school wrestlers to wrestle, but those wrestlers cannot shake hands before or after matches.

What are the details?

According to the College Fix, state lawmakers will permit the public high school wrestling season to commence — but with a big caveat: Players will not be permitted to shake hands at any point before, during, or after the match.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association states that wrestlers in the full-body contact sport will not be required to wear masks, but will also not be able to congregate or shake hands and will be required wear facial coverings while off the mat, and more:

  • No congregating before or after practices or games
  • Wear facial coverings off the mat when not actively competing or warming up
  • [T]hose on the team bench shall observe social distancing of 6 feet
  • Do not share equipment, towels, facial coverings, water bottles, other drinks or food
The Fix noted, "Coaches must not share 'clipboards, whiteboards, dry erase boards, or any other equipment used for coaching purposes.'"

All coaches are required to carry out "pre-travel symptom and temperature checks."

"Wrestling officials, who literally have to get down flat to determine pins (their head and hands touching the mat), don't have to wear masks during matches ... but are forbidden to hold up a winning wrestler's arm in victory at match's conclusion," the outlet notes.

WLWT-TV reported that the Ohio High School Athletic Association also requires that all student athletes should sanitize their hands before and after warmups, even though they're not permitted to shake hands.

"Equipment should not be shared. If equipment needs to be shared, OHSAA mandates the proper sanitation between use," WLWT reports. "Student-athletes must also sanitize their hands before and after warmups, at all timeouts and period breaks any time they leave the competition or practice mats.

You can read the full list of regulations here.

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