Note: an earlier version of this story erroneously stated that music, speech and debate are prohibited — they are not.
Fall school sports are officially on hold.
The Oregon School Activities Association released a memo on fall sports Wednesday in alignment with more restrictive statewide measures announced earlier in the day to halt the rise in COVID-19 cases.
Football, cheerleading and dance and drill are named as full-contact activities prohibited under guidelines from Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority.
Cross-country, volleyball and soccer cannot start contests until Sept. 23, a month later than usual, although the first fall practice date of Aug. 17 still stands.
OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber said pushing back the start of fall sports allows educators more room to focus on instruction as they reopen schools.
The guidance Wednesday includes clarifications on practice rules, student health concerns and academic eligibility.
Earlier Wednesday, Brown announced that children ages 5 and older will have to wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. OSAA is still trying to determine how that applies to physical activities.
The OSAA Executive Board will meet again Aug. 3 to discuss fall sports as well as rules for spectators, multi-team events and scheduling. The OSAA memo said it is looking at all options to allow students to play, including shifting, condensing or stacking sports seasons. Schools and students may be forced to choose between sports, though.
“The board’s goal is to exhaust the options to try to have full activities in the fall,” Weber said.
OSAA Executive Board President Heidi Sipe said the organization’s guidance showed a continued commitment to supporting opportunities for students.
“It allows us to keep students engaged, keep students practicing, keep students involved and giving them something to look forward to while also affording us the flexibility we may need to adjust during the season,” said Sipe, Umatilla School District superintendent.