By TED TAYLOR
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Friday night lights out – for now.
The Oregon School Activities Association announced Wednesday it will shift the high school sports seasons, starting by moving fall sports to the spring.
Football, volleyball, cross country, and soccer contests will begin the first week in March under the new 2020-21 calendar approved by the OSAA executive board.
Swimming, wrestling, and basketball will begin in early January while golf, tennis, track and field, baseball, and softball will start their seasons the first week in May.
“Today’s decisions by the Executive Board provide a framework to maximize the potential opportunity for students in Oregon to participate in three seasons during the 2020-21 school year,” said Peter Weber, OSAA Executive Director. “The Board recognized that a one size fits all approach isn’t what’s best for students across the state. By waiving policy to allow regional participation this Fall, local school districts will have the discretion for participation in those areas that are able to do so safely per state directives.”
That means local school districts – if state health metrics are met and the activities are permitted by the state and OHA – could allow out-of-season teams to work out together or even compete against neighboring schools this fall without penalty.
But the official OSAA-sanctioned seasons won’t begin until January.
The decision comes following last week’s release of school reopening health metrics by Gov. Kate Brown and OHA, according to a release.
Only one county in Oregon – tiny Wheeler County – currently meets the metrics that would allow school districts to reopen classrooms by September.
Most schools across the state, including Bend-La Pine, Redmond, Sisters and Jefferson County have already announced they will begin the year fully online, which presented challenges for starting the school activities seasons on time.
“Shifting the season calendar later in the school year provides additional time for more schools to return to a hybrid or on-site learning format while providing flexibility for local school districts to make decisions this Fall that are best for their school communities as health metrics and state guidance in this area continues to develop,” the OSAA said.
Each season will feature an equitable 7-week regular season, with adjusted contest limitations, followed by an OSAA culminating week, the release said.
Spring sports were cut short earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the state.
You can see the full updated calendar below.Adopted20-21OSAASeasonCalendar