It will be business as usual for high school activities this summer for the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association following a 7-6 vote Friday morning. The majority of the OSSAA Board of Directors voted not to take the suggestions of the OSSAA staff when it came to COVID-19 guidelines.
In March, the large school state basketball tournaments and all spring sports were canceled due to the pandemic. Soon after, public school classrooms across the state were shut down.
Sport activities, including summer camps and clinics, can start immediately with the latest vote. Schools will be able to have unrestricted summer camps and practices for all sports and activities.
A motion was made to adopt the associations’ recommendations until June 9 and was second by Guthrie Superintendent and incoming board president Dr. Mike Simpson during the Zoom meeting.
“As a Superintendent who is responsible for the safety of almost 3,500 students and over 400 staff members on a daily basis, I’m disappointed in the outcome of today’s OSSAA board meeting,” Simpson told Guthrie News Page.
The superintendent says he has organized a plan for Guthrie student-athletes during the ongoing pandemic.
“I’ve already met with our athletic director and high school principal and we have a plan we intend to implement,” Simpson said. “The focus of our plan will be to assure that we protect our students and staff while continuing to gradually return to what our new normal might be.”
Simpson says the school district will use a common-sense plan.
“We will social distance with our workouts and employ a common-sense approach to conditioning and weight training as well as skill development. It will not include competitions or workouts with schools from other communities who may not be practicing similar precautions.”
The OSSAA staff, in part, suggested the following guidelines to the board.
Phase 1 would have allowed for minimal contact with students and coaches and no big group gatherings, practices, camps or clinics from June 1 to 28.
Phase 2 (June 29 – July 31) would not allow camps, clinics or leagues may be conducted. Non-contact football practices could have been held.
Phase 3 (Aug. 1) would have allowed practices to continue for cheer, cross country, fall baseball, fastpitch softball and volleyball and other non-athletics.
The OSSAA board is scheduled to meet again on June 9 for their regular scheduled meeting.