The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors rejected the association’s plan with COVID-19 guidelines to restart high school activities beginning June 1. The 7-6 vote turns control back to local schools, who can proceed with normal summer activities.
So, high school sports will resume June 1 but with no COVID-19 restrictions in place.
The regular blue book OSSAA guidelines and policies will apply.
The discussion about the proposal, which leaked to the public earlier this week in a three-phase beginning with restrictive measures, centered around making the phases guidelines and not policy with local control and accelerating a more open second phase.
If the plan had been approved as recommended by Rick Pool of Kiowa, and seconded by Mike Simpson of Guthrie, the three phase plan would have gone into place June 1 with a plan to revisit and possibly amend or change the plan in the OSSAA’s regular meeting June 9.
Voting no to the proposal were Jerry Needham of Oktaha, Craig McVay of El Reno, Jason Sternberger of Kingfisher, Rusty Puffinbarger of Leedey, Bryan McNutt of Antlers, Rex Trent of Binger-Olney and Don Schneberger of Boone-Apache.
Voting yes were Pool, Simpson, Darren Melton of Lincoln Christian, Duane Merideth of Durant, Sean McDaniel of Oklahoma City Schools and Jerry Olanson of Glenpool.
The OSSAA worked with state agencies, physicians and the CDC to develop the plan. This is how it was written:
Phase 1: June 1 - June 28
On June 1, OSSAA member school coaches may have face-to-face contact with secondary level students using special provisions. No practice or activity-specific instruction, or camps, clinics or leagues may be conducted. Strength and conditioning is permitted.
Everyone must have their temperature checked upon arrival. Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 must be sent home. Hands must be washed and hand sanitizer used before touching any equipment. Locker rooms and bathrooms must be sanitized before and after use each day.
There will be a two-person maximum at any piece of equipment, and the spotter must wear a mask. All groups must be at least 6 feet apart, with the total number of people in the weight room complying with 6 feet between each group. Hands must be washed every 30 minutes, and activities using weights, balls, bats, helmets and more must be disinfected every 30 minutes.
Coaches must wear face masks and no personal equipment, like bottles, towels and gloves, are permitted.
There will be no one-on-one scrimmaging, no infield or outfield drills and batting practice must only be live pitch with no catcher or from a tee.
Phase 2: June 29 - July 31
No camps, clinics or leagues may be conducted. Activity-specific instruction may begin.
All participants must comply with social distancing measures. No activity will be longer than 60 minutes. Football practice can be held if it is noncontact only.
Noncontact is defined as the only protective equipment used is helmets, players shall not participate in drills that are designed to cause direct contact with another person. Training devices like air and stand-up dummies, tackling wheels or blocking shields may be used.
Intrasquad scrimmages will be allowed and tryouts will be permitted.
On July 15, unrestricted practice may begin for band, cross country, fall baseball, fastpitch softball and volleyball.
Phase 3: Aug. 1
Practice may continue for band, cross country, fall baseball, fastpitch softball and volleyball. All other activities shall
All nonathletic activities are included in these restrictions. Screening players must occur each day. If a person is sent home, they are not permitted to return the same day.
The board also acknowledged that some non-school programs, such as AAU and select baseball, were moving on with full-scale summer participation plans, although some of those organizations, such as all age levels of Little League Baseball and Little League Softball, had canceled summer tournaments.