Per Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement Tuesday, March 17, regarding statewide school closures, the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has extended the suspension of interscholastic practices and contests for sports and activities for all member schools through Tuesday, April 28. The OSAA Executive Board, during a conference call Wednesday, March 18, clarified the language regarding usage of high school facilities and communication between coaches and participants during the moratorium-like suspension period.
This updated information, in the form of questions and answers may accessed at http://www.osaa.org/coronavirus.
The OSAA Executive Board had general discussion around each Spring activity and sport, varying timelines for decisions based on chronological order of the events, host venue availability and issues with following CDC, state and local protocols for gatherings, especially given event formats and that some events are indoor vs. outdoor. The Board made the following determinations regarding the Speech and Solo Music State Championships:
Speech State Championships (currently scheduled for April 23-25, 2020): Only four of the 14 special districts were able to complete qualifying events prior to the school closures. The event’s cutoff date for entries (April 11) and the event itself fall within the school closure window. Western Oregon University remains open but delaying the event does not fit within the school’s current schedule of events. Due to the aforementioned issues, along with no clear option for technology solutions to be implemented, the OSAA Executive Board voted to cancel the Speech State Championships for 2020.
Solo Music State Championships (currently scheduled for May 2, 2020): All 15 OMEA districts were able to complete qualifying events prior to the March 17 district deadline. The rest of the deadlines for submitting school information, accompanist changes, etc. all fall within the statewide school closure window. Pacific University has notified the OSAA that all on-campus events are cancelled and the OSAA Solo Music State Championship cannot be held on their campus.
The OSAA relies heavily on the arts programs at Pacific University, along with staff and student personnel, to facilitate the event. Due to the aforementioned issues, along with no clear option for technology solutions to be implemented, the OSAA Executive Board voted to cancel the Solo Music State Championships for 2020.
“As parents and former participants, the Executive Board and staff share in the disappointment of students, schools and communities regarding the cancellation of these state championships,” said Peter Weber, OSAA executive director, in a press release. "We all remain committed to the health and safety of students throughout Oregon during this evolving public health emergency.”
The OSAA Executive Board has committed to meeting on April 1, and again on April 15, to re-evaluate the suspension of Spring activities and sports, along with the remaining Spring State Championships. This will allow the Board to review any updated guidelines and directives in collaboration with the Governor’s Office, the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Education, the OSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and member school administrators from throughout the state as this situation continues to evolve.
The OSAA Track and Field State Championships, originally scheduled to be held at the University of Oregon, will be split out and moved to different venues due to construction timelines for the completion of Hayward Field. New arrangements have the 6A, 5A, 4A events being held at Mt. Hood Community College and the 3A, 2A, 1A events at Western Oregon University, both on May 29-30.
Upcoming OSAA meetings, including the April 6 Delegate Assembly meeting, have been postponed until further notice.