Oregon high school sports schedules have been revised again as rising COVID cases across the state keep in place restrictions on prohibited activities like football and basketball.
“Today’s decision by the Executive Board is another reminder of the impact the pandemic has had on Oregon students and schools,” said Peter Weber, OSAA Executive Director. “While disappointed that we need to adjust our original schedule, we believe that keeping three distinct seasons, albeit in shortened seasons, maintains potential opportunities for all students moving forward.”
In the revised calendar, fall sports will begin in February as long as the activities are permitted by the state.
This allows time for case counts to decrease in the new year and for counties to subsequently move out of the Extreme Risk category, according to a release from OSAA.
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. (Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties are currently in “Extreme Risk.”)
Full contact football remains on the governor’s prohibited list of activities at this time.
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 on 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.
Weber said the OSAA staff continues to be in contact with the governor’s office, OHA and the Oregon Department of Education to advocate for a safe return to in-person learning and high school activities.
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.