The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association “remains determined” to play the five remaining state basketball tournaments and continue with spring activities as scheduled.
The OSSAA staff met for several hours Tuesday in the wake of Monday’s mandatory closing of all school facilities until April 6 by the State Department of Education.
The 6A-5A-4A-3A-2A state basketball tournaments were suspended Thursday because of growing concern over the coronavirus pandemic, less than two hours before tipoff of the first games in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
The Class A and B championships were decided in Oklahoma City during the March 5-7 weekend.
“After careful consideration, the OSSAA remains determined to make every effort to play the State Basketball Championships,” the state’s governing body of high school athletics said in a statement on its 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,” the statement continued.
Many in the basketball community fear the tournaments will never be played. Oklahoma has crowned champions in boys basketball every year since 1918 and has crowned or acknowledged champions in girls basketball every year since 1919 — except in 1934 when the activity was voted out of existence for a year.
The OSSAA seems to be shooting for the April 16-18 weekend to play the basketball tournaments. One administrator told the Tulsa World he was asked if his site could be available for one day of basketball on April 16.
That would give athletes 10 days to prepare if they return to campus on April 6. But some administrators were skeptical whether that would happen and feared the closures would last longer.
Kansas, while it has not yet cancelled spring sports activities, announced Tuesday its K-12 schools will close for the remainder of the academic year. By Wednesday, the state hoped to announce its plans for continuing education for students.
According to the OSSAA statement, fine arts activities scheduled for the week of March 30 are postponed and activities after April 6 will remain as scheduled. The OSSAA will work with state agencies to reschedule these activities.
As for the spring sports of baseball, soccer, track, golf and tennis, the OSSAA “remains determined to make every effort to play (them) as scheduled,” the statement read. “Should it become necessary, the OSSAA will make adjustments to the current schedule and communicate these changes to the membership.”
The OSSAA’s spring sports championships are scheduled for May 4 through May 16.
The OSSAA promises an update no later than March 23.