Sunset Cross Country community,
I hope that this message finds you healthy and well. My family and I are taking full advantage of this unique time in our lives to spend as much time as possible in each other's company.
It feels like I've spent all summer waiting... waiting... and waiting for news about the season. Today there is news to share.
This afternoon, the OSAA has released an update as a "Memo to Schools". It is available for anyone to read here. It does a couple of things:
1) It establishes a "first contest" date for cross country as September 23. This means that the first possible race (or meet) this fall could take place on that date or after.
2) It doesn't move the start date of the season. That remains August 17.
At first glance, this might sound like a green light on having a season. It is more nuanced than that. Consider this statement:
"The dates referenced above, and an individual school’s ability to participate, may be impacted by their instructional model, along with any new health metrics set forth by the Governor’s Office and OHA"
This statement means that the our season, schedule, and practice plan will have input from many levels: the governor, county officials, and, ultimately, BSD adminstration.
The OSAA has bucked a trend that we have seen in other parts of the country (Washington, California, New York, among others) where advance plans for adjusted seasons have been put in place. In today's memo, there is a stated goal of offering sports to high school youth. Another statement of note:
"If Fall activities aren’t able to be held in the Fall, the OSAA Executive Board is committed to working with its contingency groups to exhaust all options for these activities including shifting, condensing, or stacking seasons, like our neighbors in Washington and California, with the fundamental objective of providing participation opportunities for students."
So... the essence of today's announcement is that we still live in a world of "wait and see". As coaches, we encourage our athletes to continue to train for a season, though it is far from a certainty at this time. Athletic activity is so important right now as we live in worlds of increasing disconnectedness and isolation. We encourage everyone to be safe, follow the guidelines of appropriate social interaction, and be a part of the solution to control the spread of COVID-19.
We expect some information from BSD within the next few days about the academic calendar. The OSAA has promised additional guidance on August 3. I will be watching closely for both.
You might also be curious to see some of the plans from our neighbors. Here are links: