Shorter seasons and uncertainty remain a hallmark for high school athletics in Oregon this spring, but current plans developed by the Oregon School Athletics Association (OSAA) swaps seasons around and extends fall sport opportunities into the spring, according to a press release from OSAA.
“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,” said Peter Weber, OSAA executive director.
Practice and conditioning began in February, with multiple activities allowed under state guidelines adopted by the governor and the Oregon Health Authority (OHS). OSAA and its member schools are bound by the rules, regulations, and guidance set forth by the Governor’s Office and the OHA, and OSAA will not waive state mandates or provide exceptions for certain activities or counties in the state, according to OSAA.
Some fall sports have been moved to late spring, allowing 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.
Traditional spring activities (baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track and field) 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 state category.
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 OSAA Executive Board also voted to extend Season 1 through Feb. 21 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 OSAA 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.
Practice and training currently underway at The Dalles High School include:
Cross country training, girls soccer training, football training, girls and boys tennis, girls basketball, boys and girls golf, ski team, cheer, robotics, “Build a Better Athlete” training/agility/conditioning and track and field.
The main office and counseling offices are open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.