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OSSAA Postpones State Basketball Tournaments Indefinitely

Spring Sports Seasons In Limbo

 

March 19, 2020

Countywide and Sun/Jacob Factor

Shawnee's Ka'Veon Sharp in the Area Championship game against Carl Albert. Shawnee was supposed to compete in the state tournament last weekend until it was postponed.

Ninety minutes before the OSSAA State Basketball Tournaments were supposed to start last Thursday, Executive Director David Jackson announced that the tournaments were postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

County schools' teams who were supposed to compete in the tournament were Shawnee Boys in Class 5A and Dale Boys and Girls in Class 2A.

"We can't pin down a time when we might be able to resume (the tournaments)," said OSSAA Executive Director David Jackson on when or if the state basketball tournaments will be rescheduled.

Jackson said they made the decision to postpone the tournaments in part because Utah Jazz basketball player Donovan Mitchell, who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the week, was at Del City High School on Wednesday and in close contact with some of their students and faculty.

Del City boys and girls' teams were supposed to compete in the Class 5A state tournament.

"We don't really know what we're dealing with," said Mike Simpson, OSSAA Board of Directors vice president, said.

"When you're in that situation, the best thing when you're dealing with young people or anyone if to err on the side of caution."

On Tuesday, March 17, OSSAA updated their website with the following message about high school sports personnel during the state-mandated school closings:

"Yesterday, March 16 the State Department of Education announced mandatory closures of all school facilities; no instruction or activities are permitted at any public school, including Charter and Virtual schools until April 6, 2020.

"Based on the action of the State Department of Education, the OSSAA is requiring that during this time all school personnel, including certified, adjunct or volunteer coaches are prohibited from engaging in any type of activity involving secondary students; no practice, instruction, training, weight lifting, tryouts, competition or travel is permitted."

Countywide and Sun/Jacob Factor

Bethel Wildcats opened their baseball season with three solid wins; 19-10 at Luther and 10-7 and 15-3 over Riverside in a home doubleheader. Three Wildcats hit homeruns against Luther: Gunner Smith, LW Moore and Jaylon Gordon. The teams' season is postponed due to school closings amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The website also said OSSAA hasn't determined a date to reschedule the state basketball tournaments.

"After careful consideration, the OSSAA remains determined to make every effort to play the State Basketball Championships for Classes 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A," according to the website. "We will continue to work with the State Department of Education, the State Health Department, and the Governor's office as we work to reschedule these tournaments."

Spring sports are scheduled to go on as planned after the schools around the state open back up on April 7.

That plan could still change, however, if schools remain closed longer than expected.

"After careful consideration, the OSSAA remains determined to make every effort to play all spring activities as scheduled," the website stated.

"Should it become necessary, the OSSAA will make adjustments to the current schedules and communicate those changes to the membership."

OSSAA said they would provide an update on scheduling no later than March 23.

 

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