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OSAA keeps spring sports on hold with April 29 as earliest possible return date

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - A shortened spring sports season could still be in play, but the OSAA expects to follow Governor Kate Brown's lead in dealing with school closures.

The OSAA's executive board held an online meeting Wednesday to discuss the COVID-19 situation, and has decided to continue its current suspension of the spring sports season through at least April 28, while keeping state championship events on the schedule.

"The rapid changes that have taken place locally and nationally the last several weeks are unlike anything we've ever experienced," OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber said. "We are trying to make the most prudent decisions possible with the information we have at the time, while knowing that information could chance in a moments notice. Up to this point the board has aligned its decisions regarding the OSAA's education-based activities with the Governor's school closure orders and plans to continue on that path."

The executive board discussed the possibility of shifting spring sports and championship event into the summer, but staffing and personnel costs make that an unlikely scenario.

"The board had consensus this morning that extending the spring season out into the summer brings a number of issues into play — I don't see that happening," Weber said.

The OSAA has been working with Dr. Mick Koester, the chair of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, to develop guidelines if a truncated spring season were to be played.

Among those guidelines would be an initial seven-day period of practices only with sessions limited to once per day and no longer than three hours in length. Pitch-count limitations would remain in effect, and the OSAA is emphasizing late afternoon start times and weekend contests to limit lost time in the classroom.

The executive board is scheduled to meet again on April 15.

"As former participants and coaches, and current parents, the last few weeks have been very difficult," Weber said. "While we believe the decisions that have been made are the correct ones given our commitment to the health and safety of students — it doesn't make them easy. We've chosen to make high school activities our life's work because we see the tremendous impact they can have on young people."


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