Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) releases guidelines for summer high school sports workouts

Washington high school athletes and coaches are awaiting guidance for what summer workouts will look like when the governor-mandated school closure expires on June 19.

Meanwhile, high schools across Oregon received some direction on Wednesday.

The Oregon Schools Activities Association informed schools that beginning May 26, the day after the end of the state association’s calendar year, each school will control what athletics take place at school facilities. Originally, schools were closed through June 30 by a directive from the Oregon Department of Education.

So at the school’s discretion, athletics may resume, depending on where the school is located. Schools must follow the governor and health authority’s guidances as the state enacts its phased plan across all counties.

Does that open the floodgates for a full resumption of high school sports in Oregon? No. But it allows schools to adhere to local guidances that may vary based on the state’s phased reopening.

“It’s not like coming back we’re going to flip on a switch. It’s going to be like a dial,” OSAA executive director Peter Weber told OSAA Today. “It’s going to be more of a gradual type of reopening.”

The OSAA has also eliminated the moratorium week of July 26 through Aug. 1.

The OSAA’s statement was released one day after the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) released its return-to-play guidelines for the 2020-21 high school sports year.

You can view the OSAA’s summer workout guidelines here, and read the full statement below.

The OSAA Executive Board met in a closed work session this morning to discuss the latest updates on the Coronavirus pandemic as it relates to OSAA member schools. The discussion centered on the end of the Association Year and providing guidance to member schools regarding summer activities.

The OSAA Executive Board confirmed that the Association’s current moratorium-like suspension of facilities and
coach/student physical interaction will remain in place through the end of the Association Year on May 25.

Beginning May 26, member schools control what they will allow to take place at their school facilities with athletic/activities programs, in accordance with directives from Governor Brown, the Oregon Heath Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). ODE has clarified that the directive stating that school facilities are closed
through June 30 should be interpreted to mean that school facilities are closed through the end of the school/contract year.

OSAA Staff has been working closely with the OSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) on recommendations for member schools regarding summer activities that are in alignment with OHA directives. The attached guidance is no intended to be prescriptive but rather to elicit thoughtful discussion at the local level among school administrators,
coaches, parents, students and communities about navigating a gradual reopening of high school activities. Guidance for Phases Two and Three will be distributed in the coming weeks. The OSAA Executive Board understands that implementation decisions schools make this summer will potentially impact the upcoming school year and encourages member schools to follow this guidance.

Schools and coaches are reminded that, per OSAA policy, participation in summer sports/activities may not be required.

The OSAA Executive Board will continue to meet on a regular basis throughout the summer in closed work sessions.

Updates like this will be sent to all member schools following each work session. The Board remains committed to administering sports/activities this Fall, provided it can be done safely in accordance with guidance from our state educational and medical partners.

Note that earlier this month the OSAA Executive Board eliminated this year’s Moratorium Week which had been set for July 26-August 1.

Statewide High School Sports Reporter at SBLive | andy@scorebooklive.com

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