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Oregon high school sports calendar adjusted, begins with winter sports contests in January of 2021

Traditional fall high school sports in Oregon, including football, will take place in March and April of 2021 under a new plan released by the Oregon School Activities Association.

The plan, approved by the OSAA Executive Board on Wednesday, Aug. 5, restructures the 2020-21 competition calendar to provide for three seven-week seasons, followed by an eighth week for postseason contests.

The format for postseason competitions will be determined later.

The OSAA also voted to allow conditioning, practices and sports competition to take place in the fall at the discretion of local school districts, as long as activities are allowed under local and state guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To allow for fall activity when and where it's safe, the OSAA waived all out-of-season coaching restrictions for the period, dubbed Season 1, from Aug. 17 through Jan. 3, 2021.

"Today's decisions by the executive board provide a framework to maximize the potential opportunity for students in Oregon to participate in three seasons during the 2020-21 school year," Peter Weber, OSAA Executive Director, said in a press release.

"The board recognized that a one-size-fits-all approach isn't what's best for students across the state. By waiving policy to allow regional participation this fall, local school districts will have the discretion for participation in those areas that are able to do so safely per state directives," Weber said.

The first competitive season will be for basketball, wrestling and swimming. Practice for those sports will start Dec. 28, with competitions starting Jan. 11, 2021, and ending Feb. 28, with the OSAA postseason week March 1-7.

The second season is the postponed fall sports. Three weeks of practices for football begin Feb. 22 and run through March 14. Games begin the week of March 15, meaning the first Friday for football will be March 19. The football regular season will end May 2, with playoffs the following week.

The other fall sports — cross country, soccer and volleyball — will practice for two weeks beginning Feb. 22. Competition in those sports will begin the week of March 8 and conclude with the playoff week April 26-May 2.

The 2021 spring season — baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track and field — will begin with two weeks of practice on April 19. The spring competition season will start the week of May 3 and conclude with a postseason week June 17-21.

The formats for any postseason competition will be impacted by the ability to hold large-group events.

The new calendar is not set in stone. The OSAA will continue to adjust to pandemic-driven restrictions. The organization will continue to work with the governor's office, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education as it makes decisions about sports during the 2020-21 academic year.

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