The Oregon School Activities Association’s executive board released updates Thursday morning on state swimming and dance after meeting for a work session earlier in the week.
In an email from OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber to superintendents, principals and athletic directors, it was stated that the board felt it was necessary to make several decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there was also the statement that changes “are subject to change as the landscape with schools and the pandemic evolve.”
The state swimming championships had been scheduled as a two-day event with preliminaries and finals at the Tualatin Hills Swim Center. Although the state meet will still take place at Tualatin, it has been changed to a single-day timed final format. The Class 4A/3A/2A/1A session is scheduled for the afternoon and early evening of Saturday, Feb. 19.
Also for swimming, teams will be allowed to take only two alternates for qualifying relays (typically, the number is four). There could be limits on spectators — no final decisions appear to have been made on that just yet.
“These modifications were necessary for the OSAA to access the facility without reducing qualifiers,” Weber said in the email. “Tualatin Hills Swim Center has informed OSAA that there will be spectator limits in place but those have not been finalized by the venue at this time.”
As for the dance and drill state championships, the board adopted a proposal that originated with the Dance Drill Coaches Association of Oregon to reduce the minimum time for a dance performance from 2 minutes, 30 seconds to 2 minutes and reduce a show performance from 4 minutes to 3 minutes, 30 seconds.
State wrestling remains intact for now, although there was a scheduling change involving Class 6A only. The 4A tournament is scheduled to take place on a single day — Saturday, Feb. 26 — at Cascade High.
The board talked about basketball and decided no changes were necessary at this time. There will be more discussion on state basketball at the executive board’s Feb. 7 meeting.
“The executive board is optimistic that the basketball state championships can be conducted in the current eight-team final site formats but understands the situation could change,” the Weber email reads. “As with the volleyball state championships in the fall, the board is prepared to pivot the basketball quarterfinals to home school sites if necessary.”
At this moment, the 4A tournaments (quarterfinals through finals) are scheduled for March 10-12 at Forest Grove.
No changes were made to cheerleading, but the board did say that it “reserves the right to review the number of separate sessions for the championships after registration closes.”
(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at News@PhilomathNews.com).