Lightning might no longer be enough of a reason to halt a high school sporting event in Ohio this year.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has modified its inclement weather policy so that a flash only leads to a delay if it meets certain requirements. The new rule is: "At night under certain atmospheric conditions, lightning flashes may be seen from distant storms. In these cases, it may be safe to continue an event if no thunder can be heard and the flashes are low on the horizon. If thunder is heard or lightning is seen, outdoor activities shall be suspended for 30 minutes and all personnel, athletes and spectators shall evacuate to available safe structures or shelters."

Also in Ohio, kickoffs are no longer permitted in freshmen games and permitted in junior varsity games if both head coaches agree. Kickoffs already are banned in junior high/middle school games. In games with no kickoffs, the ball will be spotted at the 35-yard line to start halves and after scores. The ball will be spotted at the 50-yard line after a safety.

Fans might notice another rule change in all high schools in the nation. A 40-second or 25-second play clock will be used to determine delay of game, depending on the result of the previous play or the officials' signal. Previously, the ball was marked ready for play when, after it had been placed for a down, the referee gave the ready for play signal and the 25-second count began.

WELL WISHES: Jim "Papa" Parsons, noted sports photographer and historian, as well as father of Cabell Midland track coach and athletic director Chris Parsons, is recovering from a broken neck and cracked ribs suffered in a fall July 15 in his home.

Parsons broke the second vertebrae and has been rehabbing at Encompass Health.

LOCALS RATE HIGH: 247 Sports released its 2021 high school football position rankings and several local/West Virginia players are highly rated.

Ironton's Reid Carrico was the No. 1 inside linebacker in the country and the 34th-ranked player overall. Spring Valley offensive lineman Wyatt Milum is ranked 40th overall. South Charleston defensive end Zeiqui Lawton is No. 45 overall. Bluefield cornerback Isaiah Johnson is No. 9 overall.

RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Ironton linebacker Reid Carrico visited Clemson University last week. ... Fairland softball player Adrianna Hoffman committed to Alice Lloyd College. ... Huntington St. Joe girls basketball player Hannah Roberts picked up an offer from the University of Tennessee-Martin. ... Capital wide receiver Kerion Martin committed to Marshall University. Martin had offers from the Air Force Academy, Western Kentucky University and Miami (Ohio) University. ... Wheeling Central girls basketball player Eden Gainer picked up an offer from Gardner Webb University. ... Rowan County pitcher Mason Moore committed to the University of Kentucky. ...

Huntington High boys basketball standout Torin Lochow was offered by Potomac State College. ... West Carter volleyball star Madison Adkins committed to Tusculum University. ... Lawrence County baseball player Jackson Feltner committed to Morehead State University. ... Chapmanville basketball player Andrew Shull received an offer from Wingate University. His teammate, Obinna Anochili-Killen was offered by the University of New Mexico. ... Huntington Prep basketball standout Jaemyn Brakefield received an offer from Michigan State University.

HE SHOULD KNOW THE SWIM TECHNIQUE: Former Portsmouth High School and Penn State University offensive lineman Gerald Cadogan is the new men's and women's swimming coach at Shawnee State University.

Cadogan has been the swimming and boys track coach at Portsmouth High.

NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES: Former Huntington High softball star Camryn Michallas transferred from the Univesity of Akron to Gulf Coast State College. ... Three-time all-state pitcher Brianna McCown has transferred from George Washington to St. Albans. ... Fairland golfer Landon Roberts, a rising freshman, won tournament championships at Glade Springs and The Greenbrier and also captured Callaway Tour player of the year honors. ... Huntington High football standout Diallo Mitchell was selected to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Game. ...

Former Kentucky Christian University basketball player Faith Conn is the new girls basketball coach at West Carter. ... Former Rowan County pitcher Cam Planck has retired from professional baseball because of consistent pain in his throwing shoulder. Planck was drafted in the 11th round by the New York Mets in 2016 and signed a contract for $1,000,001. ... Ashland hired former Tomcats player and assistant Evan Yongue as its new baseball coach. ... Former East Carter and current University of Alabama softball star Montana Fouts was invited to the USA Softball 2020 Olympic selection trials. ... The Milwaukee Brewers released former Hurricane High School star pitcher Alex Wilson on Saturday.


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