WOODBURN — It may be a while before athletes are competing in high school sports in Oregon, as the Oregon School Activities Association has announced a further push back of the fall season.
All sports in Oregon have been canceled since mid-March due to the pandemic caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the OSAA is anticipating the first contests for cross country, soccer and volleyball to be on Sept. 23 (a full month after the previous planned date of Aug. 27).
The OSAA, however, is keeping the first date for fall practice at Aug. 17.
Notably, football was not in those sports that are scheduled to start. The OSAA’s guidance says that football, a full-contact and high-risk sport, has no definitive start date and, per the Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority’s guidance, is currently prohibited. The OSAA guidance states that in order for there to be football this year, then restrictions would need to be lifted by Sept. 28.
If sports are unable to compete in their originally designated seasons, then the OSAA says it will take a look at offering certain sports in a different time of the year. Recently, both Washington and California have moved all sports to later in the year with some sports (like football) being moved to the spring.
“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,” the OSAA guidance reads.
In a conversation with the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the OSAA Executive Board also decided on eliminating multiple practice sessions in a single day and practices can’t exceed three hours.
The OSAA is also considering some athletes to wear face coverings when exercising indoors. There has been no decision on that as of Wednesday.
The next meeting of the OSAA Executive Board is on Aug. 3.
In previous guidance, the OSAA did acknowledge that athletics can’t take place if a school is closed due to COVID-19.