States begin altering, canceling winter seasons

Oregon was one of seven states that did not have high school competition during the fall of 2020. The majority of states played a modified fall season while others made no changes at all amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, several states across the country are reversing course and either postponing or canceling winter sports after competing in the fall.

West Virginia and Arizona — two states that offered modified fall sports — recently announced changes to their winter sports schedules.

In West Virginia, athletic competitions are postponed until March 3 (a similar timeframe to Oregon’s target of March 1 to return to competition).

While in Arizona, the Arizona Interscholastic Association canceled its winter seasons due to a surge in COVID-19 cases after initially delaying the start to late January.

Central Oregon schools are returning to some forms of in-person classes within the next month — a positive first step to having high school sports return for the first time since last March.

But there are a number of hurdles that have to be cleared for them to return — primarily for sports that are currently prohibited by the Oregon Health Authority.

While the Oregon School Activities Association is hopeful for sports to return March 1, shortening seasons or cancellations remain on the table. 

“I think you get to the point where you can only condense something so much,” Peter Weber, the executive director of the OSAA told The Bulletin last week. “I don't know that we are there; if we aren't, then we are really close.”

— Bulletin staff report

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