The high school spring sports season is on hold, at least for now.
In a release distributed Friday, the Oregon School Activities Association has suspended interscholastic practices and contests for sports and activities for all member schools effective through March 31. The suspension is due to the increasing danger of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which is causing school closures and significant lifestyle changes throughout the state and country. Suspending sports is an effort to prevent community spread of the virus.
"At this point, during the next two weeks, there will be no practices or contests," Newberg High School athletic director Tim Burke said. "I don't see those contests being rescheduled."
"During this suspension we will evaluate this evolving public health situation with the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Education, the OSAA Executive Board, the OSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and member school administrators from throughout the state to determine when, or if, to resume the spring season," OSAA officials said in a release.
If, or when, the high school spring sports season resumes, there remain other considerations before competition begins. Crowds may not be allowed at events for the foreseeable future and the OSAA may allow only team personnel to attend.
There is also the possibility that all spring sporting events will be cancelled altogether or pushed to the summer if the pandemic worsens. Given federal directives for people to avoid congregating in groups of 10 or more for at least the next two weeks, it seems unlikely that spring sports will return to normal routines by early April.
OSAA-sanctioned spring sports include baseball, softball, track and field, tennis and golf.
Boys and girls high school lacrosse is not sanctioned by the OSAA and high school rugby is run by the organization Rugby Oregon. The statewide governing body for rugby cancelled all practices and games through April 9 and is eyeing an April 12 return to competition, barring any unforeseen changes.
The Oregon High School Lacrosse Association (boys lacrosse), has this message from OHSLA commissioner Pete Schlesinger on its website: "To the OHSLA community -- with all that is going on in a world being affected with the coronavirus19, we want to update everyone with where OHSLA officers are at this moment. The officers are monitoring the OSAA and other state sport entities. At this moment we are continuing with the 2020 lacrosse season. We, as stated, will monitor the OSAA and how they handle the upcoming spring sport season. If, and when there are changes, we will act accordingly."
The Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association relayed the following to players, coaches and families: "OGLA community — due to the recent school closures and taking into consideration OSAA's suspension of spring sports, OGLA will suspend all youth and high school practices and games through March 31. During this time, the OGLA board will establish a plan for the season going forward and relay this to our community as soon as it becomes available. Additionally, due to the changes and potential extension of our season, Oregon will not be sending a team to the 2020 national tournament during Memorial Day weekend. OGLA will continue to follow OSAA as it pertains to spring sports. Any and all updates to the season will be sent to the entire community."
More information on the OSAA's plan for the outbreak and how it will impact spring sports going forward can be found at www.OSAA.org. Keep an eye on social media accounts for the OSAA as well as the Facebook pages of local schools for further guidance on how athletes will move forward.
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