July 22, 2020 — The Siuslaw School District cancelled voluntary summer practices again this week as they await an upcoming decision from the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA).
“We have decided to do this for a multitude of reasons involving making sure we take the time to ensure the safest environment possible for our athletes, as well as this being the week that we should hear a decision from the OSAA on our upcoming season,” the district said in a statement.
As of right now, the future of high school sports in Oregon is uncertain.
OSAA is currently meeting in a three day video conference to discuss when and how athletics will begin.
Currently, the OSAA fall sports calendar has August 17 as the official first day of practices, but there has been talk of extending the fall season to spring in response to an uptick of COVID-19 cases in Oregon and across the nation.
Also this week, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is expected to release new guidelines for reopening schools. The new guidelines could give OSAA a more clear direction when deciding how or even if scheduling fall sports is possible.
Throughout the summer, ODE has been releasing initial criteria to districts, offering three ways to proceed with the fall schedule — Online only, in class only and a hybrid of online and in-class.
At the beginning of the summer, Siuslaw stated it was looking at a hybrid model to reopen, which would allow for athletics to continue. But since then, COVID-19 cases have begun to spike nationally, and California announced that the majority of districts in the state would be online only.
This marks the second time in as many weeks the program has been closed.
Just five days after opening voluntary football practice, one player became ill with “flu-like” symptoms and practices were halted as they were tested for COVID-19. The tests came back negative, and practices resumed for a short period, until they were cancelled again for OSAA guidelines.