Sports may be on hold at the moment, but Grant Union High School now has an open gym schedule.

Grant Union Principle Ryan Gerry said Oregon School Activities Association season one guidelines state schools are able to have open gym, dependent on a county risk level, and can designate each season an allotted time for students to practice.

Gerry said, at the beginning of the school year, they started offering open gym and open field to the spring sports because their season was canceled last school year.

COVID-19 regulations required closing the gym, but the school is now allowed to reopen it.

“We’re just bringing (open gym) back up because when we got into comprehensive distance learning, we weren’t able to offer those (open gym) opportunities,” Gerry said. “Then our county got put into the extreme risk category so we couldn’t have any indoor activity.”

Open gym resumed on Jan. 4 with winter sports: basketball, wrestling and dance. Gerry said there are still limitations on the activities, following the guidelines from Oregon Health Department and OSAA.

“They can’t scrimmage, and they can’t play five-on-five (basketball), but they can work on shooting skills, dribbling and do some conditioning,” Gerry said.

While the past year has been unique in limiting the opportunities kids have to participate in activities, Gerry said this gives students a chance to continue developing their skills while being with their teammates.

“Open gym resembles a sense of normalcy for the kids to get back and have an opportunity to work with their coaches.” Gerry said. “I think it’s important to get the kids active and have these opportunities.”

The OSAA 2020-2021 season calendar has schools in season one — open gym time — until Feb. 22, when season two starts with fall sports. Football would start on Feb. 8 while cross country and volleyball would start on Feb. 22. However, football is classified as a high-contact sport and would not be allowable under current guidance.

Gerry said volleyball and cross country would be allowed under the current risk level, but are contingent on the next county COVID-19 risk level assessment in January.

Reporter

Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at rudy@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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