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Friday, April 2, 2021

OSAA Adjusts 20-21 Calendar, pushes basketball start date to February

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The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) Executive Board has revised the Association’s calendar to start activities in February.  The OSAA Executive Board was hopeful that the state’s landscape was going to improve when it adopted the current calendar back in August, but that has not proven to be the case as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, county risk level metrics have changed and restrictions on prohibited activities have not been lifted by the Governor’s Office and Oregon Health Authority (OHA). 

In the revised calendar adopted today, Fall sports are moved to Season 2 and will begin in February with multiple activities permitted by state guidance.  This allows time for case counts to decrease in the new year and for counties to subsequently move out of the Extreme Risk category. 

Cross Country and Soccer, as outdoor sports, are permitted by the Governor’s Office and OHA in all counties. 

As an indoor activity, Volleyball is tied to the Governor’s County Risk Level Guidance and only allowed in those counties deemed as Lower, Moderate, or High Risk.  Full contact football remains on the Governor’s prohibited list of activities at this time.  Discussions around possibly moving Football later in the year were not supported at this time due to concerns expressed by the OSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)  regarding the impact that a later contact football season would require modifications to the Fall 2021 football season.

Season 3 features the traditional Spring activities (Baseball, Softball, Golf, Tennis and Track & Field), all of which are permitted by state guidance as outdoor activities.  These will begin April 5 and extend into the third week in May. 

The sports calendar wraps up with Season 4 and traditional winter sports (Swimming, Basketball and Wrestling) beginning in mid-May and extending into late June.  The shift of wrestling and basketball to the end of the calendar provides the most runway for their prohibition to be lifted by the state.  The OSAA has been given no indication that a change will be made in this designation but remains hopeful that a change could occur prior to Season 4.  Swimming is currently allowed outdoors for all counties and indoors for those counties not in the Extreme Risk metric.

The activities schedule was revised to allow more time for school buildings to be accessible to their programs.  Activities like Choir and Band/Orchestra have been pushed back to the end of the school year to provide their programs the opportunity to rehearse in person if school district policy allows.  Cheerleading and Dance/Drill culminating weeks have also been adjusted to allow more time for facilities to open or have weather improve enough to move outdoors.

The Executive Board also voted to extend Season 1 through February 21, 2021 to allow training, workouts and even competitions to occur in those areas of the state that are allowed per the Governor’s Office, OHA guidance, and local school district policy.  The Board plans to revisit participation limitations for all seasons, out-of-season coaching policies for Season 2, 3, and 4, and the need for further decisions as a result of updated state guidance or changing risk level metrics at upcoming work sessions.

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