More than two months since the sports world went into hibernation, plans for the return of athletics have started to take shape.
Wednesday, the Oregon Schools Activities Association released Phase 1 of the return of high school sports and activities during the summer.
The following are some of the key points from the OSAA Executive Board meeting and the six-page document of the reopening plan, and how athletes and coaches must go about the offseason training in a social-distancing world brought on by the coronavirus pandemic:
• Beginning Tuesday, May 26, schools can control what school athletic/activities programs are allowed to take place at the school’s facilities.
• Gatherings of 25 people or more are prohibited. Workouts should consist of five to 10 athletes, or “pods.” The pods should remain the same to limit the overall exposure. Social distancing should still be practiced during workouts, which should be done without a spotter.
• Before each workout, all athletes and coaches must receive temperature checks, and those with a temperature exceeding 100.3 degrees should not participate. Those experiencing positive symptoms should not be allowed to attend and should self-isolate.
• Wearing face masks is optional but should strictly follow state, local and district guidelines. However, the OSAA recommends cloth face coverings be worn by students except for “swimming, distance running or high-intensity aerobic activities.” Coaches and officials and contest personnel are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings whenever physical distancing is not possible.
• No sharing of water bottles or other athletic equipment, which includes towels, shoes, clothes, and balls. Hydration stations should not be used.
• Sports and activities will be broken up into three different levels of infection risk activities. Cross-country, track and field, swimming, golf and tennis fall under the “lower infection risk activities.” Volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball and basketball are “moderate risk,” while football, wrestling, cheerleading and dance/drill are deemed “higher infection risk activities.”