For the past four months, LCSD staff and student-athletes have participated in OSAA Season 1. This season, running in our district from October 12th to February 21st, has phased in students working in small athletic pods in strength and conditioning and sport-specific teams, all while following the social distancing guidance and wearing masks. We have continued to follow Covid safety protocols under OSAA and the Governor's Sector Guidance to meet Oregon Health Authority regulations.
Although Governor Brown has issued a press release allowing protocols for outdoor contact sports (football) to resume, Lincoln County is still a high-risk county and would require an “opt-in” to contact football: “In such counties, sports organizations must offer on-site responsive testing for symptomatic individuals and close contacts, contact information for contact tracing, and a waiver identifying health and safety risks and a commitment to isolation and quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.”
In following Ready Schools Safe Learners return to school protocols, LCSD did not expedite return to school measures that would require on-site testing by March 1st. We will not be opting in to require this testing for athletics. On February 8th, the OSAA Board approved options that include 7 on 7, Flag, Virtual Lineman Challenge, and Virtual Combine football with more details to follow. LCSD has every intention of offering a Season 2 football option in a county league format following OSAA guidelines. If and when Lincoln County is classified at the moderate risk level, we will reevaluate and communicate.
Under our current county health metrics and Sector Guidance, LCSD will begin high school volleyball, cross country, boys/girls soccer, and non-contact football on February 22nd. More information on OSAA guidance for athletics can be found here: https://www.osaa.org/coronavirus. Using High School Success funds, we will cover the district pay-to-play fee for all student-athletes participating in high school athletics/activities during the shortened seasons for the 2020-21 school year.
The seasons will look quite different this year. While at high risk, spectators will not be allowed to attend the events, with the exception of Senior immediate family members at one home contest per sport determined by their school. The District will continue to monitor our spectator regulations as country metrics change. Transportation to and from all events will continue to be provided by LCSD. Most Season 2 contests will be played in Lincoln County, and the district will not compete against teams outside of our county considered at or above high risk. In-door sports competing in Season 2 will only be Lincoln County schools.
As for middle school sports, the district has created a Flash Football League open to all 7-8th grade students. This co-ed league is a modified version of ultimate frisbee with a Nerf football. Practices will be held twice a week for one hour each with a six-week competitive season from March 6-April 10th (excluding Spring Break Saturdays). Please watch for more information about this exciting opportunity to get kids playing and representing their schools again! The cost is $10 per student-athlete and sign-ups begin February 22nd.