The Oregon School Activities Association announced updated guidelines for high school summer sports and activities in a press release on Monday and remained committed to administering sporting events in the fall — as long as it’s safe to do so.

The updates bring the OSAA, Oregon’s governing body for high school athletics, in line with the Phase 2 reopening regulations released last week by Gov. Kate Brown.

The new guidelines, among other things, expand previous recommendations on gathering sizes, allow for the reopening of pools and the use of some shared equipment and recommend the use of face coverings when student-athletes are not actively participating in an event.

Peter Weber, the OSAA Executive Director, said in a press release that “OSAA staff has been working closely with the OSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee” to establish guidelines “that are in alignment with OHA directives.”

Recommendations on gatherings were increased to no more than 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, provided six feet of social distancing is attainable. The use of swimming pools is now acceptable with social distancing in the pool and on the deck and only one person per lane.

The OSAA relaxed its guidelines on sharing equipment such as balls, bats, rackets, weights and track and field apparatus. Items can be shared, but should be kept to a minimal group size to limit the number of contacts and be properly cleaned after each use.

Face coverings were also suggested by the OSAA. Student-athletes are encouraged to use masks for things such as attending team meetings, entering and exiting facilities and when on the sidelines or bench. Coaches, officials and contest personnel are also encouraged to wear face coverings at all times.

The Phase 2 guidelines from the OSAA also include recommendations for social distancing, sanitizing facilities and equipment and personal hygiene.

Visit osaa.org to read the whole list of updated guidelines for summer sports and activities.

These guidelines aren’t “intended to be prescriptive, but rather to elicit thoughtful discussion at the local level among school administrators, coaches, parents, students and communities about navigating a gradual reopening of high school activities,” according to Weber.

The OSAA is not mandating schools adhere to the new guidance, as the organization withdraws much of its oversight during the summer when school is out. Although, it does encourage member schools to follow the guidelines.

It was also noted in the release that school districts could possibly jeopardize their insurance coverage if they violate Gov. Brown’s Executive Order 20-20. The order closed school facilities in March, but is set to expire June 30. School districts are encouraged to stick to that timeline and not open facilities before July 1.

Guidelines for Phase 3 will be released when they are available, according to the release. The current set of recommendations are intended for summer activities. Specific plans for the fall sports season, when schools are back in session, have not been announced.

Joey Keeran is the sports director for KSKR The Score.

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