Soccer, Cross Country and Full-Contact Football
Salem-Keizer Public Schools has officially met requirements for opting-in to allow outdoor contact sports beginning Monday, Feb. 22. Cross country, soccer and full-contact football are permitted to begin practices with competition currently scheduled for the week of March 1.
With Marion & Polk counties moving from extreme risk to high-risk status on Feb. 26, Volleyball will be allowed to increase indoor practices to a capacity of 50 from the previously allowed maximum of 6. Volleyball matches are currently scheduled to begin the week of March 8.
In order to provide the opportunity for our SKPS athletes to participate in athletic activities, including practices and competitions, all activities must adhere to OHA/ODE Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance. These requirements include capacity limits within our facilities, including outdoor spaces such as fields and stadiums.
No spectators will be permitted at contests due to OHA guidelines. According to requirements from the Oregon Health Authority, this includes spectators outside the official facility.
Are people that remain in their vehicles in the parking lot included in the venue capacity limits? What about people outside of their vehicles who line up along a fence to view a contest?OHA has indicated that people who remain in their vehicles in the parking lot to view a contest would not count toward the venue capacity limit. However, people congregating outside of their vehicles along a fence line at a venue would be considered spectators and count toward the venue capacity limit.
Due to these requirements, we ask for our families’ and community’s support in helping to ensure our students can continue to play. Please do not attempt to view contests in-person. Many sporting events for SKPS students will be available for viewing from the safety of your home. Schools will be sharing additional details about viewing access for athletic events soon. Non-compliance with this spectator requirement may cause the cancellation of athletic activities.
If you have any questions about spectator restrictions at athletic activities this year, please contact your school’s athletic director.
Winter & Spring Sports
Traditional spring sports are tentatively scheduled to begin April 5 and traditional winter sports May 10.
Full-contact sports were prohibited until recently, when Governor Kate Brown announced on Feb. 10 that the Oregon Health Authority’s guidance for outdoor sports had been revised. “School sports play an important role in fostering students’ mental, emotional and physical health,” Governor Brown noted. “We will proceed with caution, to ensure that teams are following health and safety precautions to protect our athletes, their families, and their communities.”
The updated guidance allows high school teams to practice and compete, provided that health and safety protocols are put into place. Because Marion County is in the COVID-19 Extreme Risk category, the protocols include on-site testing for COVID-19, developed plans for contact tracing, isolation and quarantining, a waiver identifying health and safety risks, and not allowing onsite spectators. View the district’s official ODE opt-in form for outdoor contact sports.
While the overall success of high school sports this year is dependent upon everyone doing their part to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in our community, SKPS is confident in the health measures in place and pleased to offer this opportunity to our student-athletes.
The expansion of high school sports is yet another step towards returning to familiar routines and activities that keep students connected and engaged in school.