The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) shifted its traditional Fall sports season contests to begin in March under a new 2020-21 school activities calendar approved by the association’s Executive Board on Wednesday. The Board also voted to waive current out-of-season coaching policies to allow for student participation during the Fall (Season 1). Participation will be at the discretion of the local school district in those activities allowed per directives from the Governor’s Office, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
“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,” said Peter Weber, OSAA Executive Director. “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.”
The Executive Board took this action following last week’s release of school reopening health metrics by the Governor’s Office and OHA. These metrics will result in nearly all OSAA member high schools starting in a Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) format this Fall which presents challenges for the resumption of school activities. Shifting the season calendar later in the school year provides additional time for more schools to return to a hybrid or on-site learning format while providing flexibility for local school districts to make decisions this Fall that are best for their school communities as health metrics and state guidance in this area continues to develop.
The OSAA’s new calendar provides for three distinct seasons from late December to late June with limited overlap between seasons. Traditional Winter activities will take place in January and February (Season 2), followed by Fall activities in March and April (Season 3), with Spring activities occurring in May and June (Season 4). Each season will feature an equitable 7-week regular season, with adjusted contest limitations, followed by an OSAA Culminating Week. Specific plans for culminating week events will be developed in conjunction with member schools in the coming months in alignment with large group gathering guidelines issued by the state.
The OSAA Association Year will officially begin on August 31 in Season 1 where policies restricting out-of-season coaching have been removed. This allows member school students and coaches, at the discretion of the local school district, to participate in any OSAA-sanctioned activity permitted by directives from the Governor’s Office, OHA and ODE. This participation may include conditioning, practices and interscholastic competitions in those permitted activities provided schools adhere to OSAA policies.
The OSAA will continue to work with the Governor’s Office, OHA, and ODE, along with our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) to provide information to member schools. Guidance from these entities continues to evolve, along with the pandemic itself, and will impact future OSAA decisions regarding the 2020-21 school year.