COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has claimed its latest victims — the Class 6A, Class 5A and Class 4A state basketball championships, and the Dance/Drill championship hosted by the Oregon School Activities Association.
The OSAA added a banner to its website at approximately 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 12, that read "COVID-19 UPDATE: After consulting with schools and venue partners, the OSAA is canceling all remaining Winter State Championships; more information to follow."
That was followed by a Wednesday press release that reads as follows:
The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has cancelled all remaining Winter State Championships. This includes the remaining Basketball (effective immediately) and Dance/Drill State Championships.
"As this unprecedented public health emergency continues to evolve, we believe that the responsibility to our member schools and communities regarding the health and safety of participants remains our highest priority," said Peter Weber, OSAA Executive Director.
This news comes after the Pac-12, along with other major collegiate conferences and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), canceled their men's basketball tournament and all other sporting events until further notice due to COVID-19.
The OSAA will continue to collaborate with Oregon's public health authorities, including guidance from the Governor, OHA, and ODE in order to help slow the transmission of the coronavirus.
We are working with our ticketing partners to ensure those who purchased tickets for future sessions are reimbursed.
The OSAA will have updates soon about Spring activities and contests that are scheduled to begin next week.
Those marked the latest in a number of rapidly changing decisions from the OSAA following Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's Wednesday, March 11, order banning gatherings of more than 250 people.
First, the OSAA announced Wednesday that it was suspending play in the Class 5A state basketball tournaments at Gill Coliseum on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis. Next, late in the day Wednesday, the OSAA announced that the Class 6A state tournaments at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus would continue with "only participating students and coaches, essential event staff personnel and media with OSAA-issued credentials ... allowed to attend OSAA State Championship events."
That was followed at approximately 11 a.m. Thursday by the OSAA announcement that the remaining games in the Class 5A tournaments — girls play started Tuesday while the boys opened Wednesday — had been canceled. Finally, the OSAA followed up by canceling the remaining games in the Class 6A tournaments — girls play started Wednesday while the boys were scheduled to start Thursday afternoon.
The Class 4A tournaments at Forest Grove High School were scheduled to begin Thursday, but no games were played in the 4A event.
The tournamnts for Class 3A, Class 2A and Class 1A were completed on Saturday, March 7.
The 2020 season will mark the first time that Oregon has not completed all its boys basketball state championships since it began hosting events in 1919, and the first time it has not completed all its girls championships since it began hosting those in 1976.
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