COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s high school football season will be shortened to six games this fall and all teams will advance to the playoffs, if contact sports are approved by Gov. Mike DeWine, the state high school sports association announced Friday.

The move follows a recommendation from DeWine’s office to shorten the season out of concerns the coronavirus pandemic might spike in early winter, the Ohio High School Athletic Association said.

If DeWine approves a football season, all teams will enter playoffs beginning Oct. 9 and state championship games will be played no later than Nov. 21, the OHSAA said.

DeWine has promised an announcement next week on whether high school contact sports, including football, soccer and basketball, could go forward this fall.

The change adopted by the OHSAA also allows schools to void their regular-season football contracts with other schools.

Schools that have delayed their seasons could still get underway in September or October and are not required to enter the playoffs if they would rather play regular-season games up until November 14.

“We believe this modified plan offers a positive solution by addressing many of the concerns of our member schools,” said Jeff Cassella, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors and athletic administrator at Mentor High School.

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