Lemmings

Pauls Valley pitcher Brian Lemmings delivers a pitch during action in the spring. There likely won’t be any baseball games played this summer after the OSSAA announces its three-phase plan to reopen high school sports.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors will meet Friday and is expected to announce what summer high school sports will look like moving forward amid the COVID-19 crisis.

OSSAA Executive Director David Jackson said in an email Tuesday that the board will meet Friday morning to discuss the details of the process to bring back high school athletics. The plans — which are already drawn up — will be announced immediately after the meeting.

“We wanted to get the plan to the membership (Tuesday) but have decided to wait until Friday after our board of directors have a chance to review it and approve it through a special board meeting Friday morning,” Jackson said. “If the board approves the plan, we will send an email to all administrators immediately afterward.”

Jackson said the plan is still to begin summer activities of some sort on June 1.

“We apologize for the delay, but we want to be thorough and we want to be responsible as we venture into something we have never faced before. We appreciate your patience and understanding.”

The tentative plan remains to open back up in some capacity on June 1, allowing coaches and athletes to have limited contact. Then on June 15, weight rooms could open with strict social distancing guidelines in place. Then a third phase would come toward the end of summer.

All OSSAA-sanctioned activities have been canceled since March 26, including the Classes 6A-2A state basketball tournaments and all spring sports championships.

According to The Oklahoman, which obtained copies of the OSSAA proposed plan, high school sports will reopen in three different phases.

Following is a breakdown of those plans.

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 stop specific instruction.

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