OSAA bans fans from basketball state championship tournaments
The boys basketball teams from Clackamas High School and Gladstone High School, and the girls basketball team from La Salle Prep are scheduled to compete in playoffs games Thursday inside mostly empty arenas because of growing concerns over the COVID-19 virus.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday night that she would immediately ban all public gatherings of more than 250 people statewide for four weeks.
Following the Governor's announcement, the Oregon School Activities Association announced that the state basketball tournaments would continue as scheduled with no spectators, allowing only essential personnel and credentialed media to attend.
Gladstone's boys are scheduled to face top-ranked Marist Catholic in Thursday's 1:30 p.m. 4A quarterfinal at Forest Grove High School, while Clackamas' boys are scheduled to face Central Catholic in a 6A quarterfinal game at 3:15 p.m. at Portland's Chiles Center, and La Salle Prep's girls are scheduled to play a 3:15 p.m. 5A semifinal against Wilsonville at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.
The OSAA has followed guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Education, and local health departments in administering the OSAA's state championship events.
The OSAA is committed to following the direction of Oregon's public health authorities, including guidance from the Governor, OHA, and ODE in order to help slow the transmission of the disease.
In light of the rapidly changing situation, the OSAA decided the drastic revision to its spectator policies for state championship events was in order, allowing only participating student-athletes and coaches, essential event staff personnel, and media with OSAA-issued credentials to attend.
"This difficult decision has not been made lightly," OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber said in a statement issued Wednesday night. "Going into this week, we knew the situation was rapidly evolving and as the circumstances and guidance have changed throughout today, our focus is on trying to honor the commitment students have made throughout the season by continuing the contests, albeit without spectators."
Fans can watch all games from each state championship site via the NFHS Network. Additionally, all games will have free streaming audio via the OSAA Radio Network, which can be found online at http://www.osaa.org/radio-network
The OSAA plans to continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.
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