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COVID-19 spread puts spring sports season in holding pattern, waiting game through April 28

PMG FILE PHOTO - Aloha shortstop Kadn Knight slides into third baseman during the Warriors 4-3 win over Sunset in 2016. The Oregon School Activities Association has extended the suspension of interscholastic practices and sporting events for all member schools through April 28, due to concerns of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a release sent out March 18, the OSAA Executive Board had a general discussion around each spring activity and sport, varying timelines for decisions based on chronological order of the events and host venue availability. The board also discussed issues with following CDC, state and local protocols for gatherings, especially with event formats and indoor and outdoor events.

The executive board voted to cancel the Speech State Championships set for April 23 and the Solo Music State Championships on May 2.

"As parents and former participants, the executive board and staff share in the disappointment of students, schools and communities regarding the cancellation of these state championships," said Peter Weber, OSAA Executive Director. "We all remain committed to the health and safety of students throughout Oregon during this evolving public health emergency."

Leading up to the Speech State Championships, only four of the 14 special districts were able to complete qualifying events prior to the school closures, OSAA said, the event's cutoff date for entries was April 11 and the event itself was within the school closure window.

As for the Solo Music State Championships, the deadlines for submitting school information and other changes is within the statewide school closure window.

Pacific University, which was planned to host the event, has canceled all on-campus events.

The decision comes after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has extended the statewide school closure to six weeks, the governor's office announced Tuesday, March 17, that students wouldn't be back in school until at least April 28.

Brown had closed school for two weeks as a way to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has become a global pandemic.

The OSAA Executive Board will hold another meeting on April 1, and again on April 15, to re-evaluate the suspension of spring activities and sports, along with the remaining spring state championships.

This will allow the board to review any updated guidelines and directives in collaboration with the governor's office, the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Education, the OSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and member school administrators from throughout the state.

The OSAA Track and Field State Championships, originally scheduled to be held at the University of Oregon, will be split out and moved to different venues due to construction timelines for the completion of Hayward Field. New arrangements have the 6A, 5A, 4A events being held at Mt. Hood Community College and the 3A, 2A, 1A events at Western Oregon University, both on May 29 and 30.

Upcoming OSAA meetings, including the April 6 Delegate Assembly meeting, have been postponed until further notice.

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