High School

OSAA updates guidelines for return of fall sports

High School

The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) Executive Board met over the last three days to discuss the plans for the return of fall sports.

Both California and Washington have pushed their fall sports to December or later, and Oregon could do the same. 

In an official release on Wednesday, the OSAA said, "With the uncertainty of school reopening plans in many parts of the state and the timeframe related to those decisions, the OSAA Executive Board has decided to delay the first contest date for Cross Country, Volleyball and Soccer until Wednesday, September 23 (previously August 27)."

Rather than fully announce a push back to Winter or Springs, the OSAA will go with more of a wait and see approach. 

The board will meet again on August 3rd, with another few weeks of information to digest, and potentially make another set of guidelines for fall sports. 

However, not all fall sports have the same outlook. While the sports listed above can start on September 23, football is still a no go. 

Football is considered a full contact activity per the Governor’s and OHA guidelines and is currently prohibited. No definitive date has been established by the state for a review of this prohibition. Based on strategies provided by the OSAA Football Contingency Group it is necessary that any Football restrictions be lifted by September 28 in order to have a modified regular season this Fall that would include some type of restructured postseason. - OSAA on return of football

 

Cheerleading and Dance/Drill are also considered full-contact sports, and like football, they are currently prohibited. 

If, as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, there is no clear avenue to play fall sports, the OSAA has been in talks to move the seasons much the same as California and Washington did.

"If Fall activities aren’t able to be held in the Fall, the OSAA Executive Board is committed to working with its contingency groups to exhaust all options for these activities including shifting, condensing, or stacking seasons, like our neighbors in Washington and California," OSAA said in the press release. "With the fundamental objective of providing participation opportunities for students. These changes may ultimately force schools into choosing which programs they will offer and students into choosing between activities, but the Board believes that a potentially difficult choice is better than no choice."

You may have missed it in there, but one potential impact of moving the season for safety purposes is that multi-sports athletes may have to drop a sport. 

While it would be tough to force students to drop a sport, it's something that may have to be done in the name of safety. 

You can read the full OSAA release HERE.