Oregon delays the return of high school sports to March

Oregon has decided to push back the return of high school sports until March 1, the Oregon School Activities Association announced Monday.

The revised calendar will include three shortened seasons, starting with competition March 1 in traditional fall sports. A second season of traditional spring sports will begin April 17, and the calendar will conclude with a season of traditional winter sports starting May 17.

Under the previous plan adopted last summer, winter sports were scheduled to begin practices on Dec. 28. But rising cases of COVID-19 in the state prompted Monday’s decision.

“All of our conversations with the Oregon Health Authority, and following the news, it appears that the models are showing that things are going to get worse before they get better,” OSAA executive director Peter Weber said. “As we’re looking to provide as much time as possible to lower case counts — and get counties out of the extreme-risk level, if possible — we thought that this timeline made sense.”

The previous schedule called for seven-week seasons, plus an additional week for an “opt-in culminating week” of postseason competition.

The new plan calls for a six-week season that includes the culminating events.

“Obviously, they’re shorter seasons, but they also provide three distinct seasons and continue an opportunity for all kids to be involved, hopefully,” Weber said. “It’s shorter than we would like, and not as soon as we would like, but we feel like it’s realistic and something that we can put into place.”

Last month, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced a revised schedule of three seven-week seasons that include a culminating week. Those seasons would begin with traditional winter sports competition on Feb. 8, followed by traditional fall sports on March 22, and traditional spring sports on May 3.

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