With the Fall regular season winding down and state playoffs starting next week in some activities, we wanted to remind schools of the OHA masking requirements in place for indoor and outdoor events. The OSAA has been contacted by numerous school personnel and community members from around the state throughout the season regarding schools that are not adhering to the OHA requirements during interscholastic events.
As teams begin traveling out of their league for state playoff events, the OSAA Executive Board believes it is necessary to remind schools of the OHA requirements and clarify the communication expectations for schools, along with potential consequences for schools not making reasonable best efforts to meet the requirements.
As a membership of schools, it’s critical that schools work closely with one another and their communities to uphold state-mandated administrative rules by adhering to these requirements. This provides us with the best opportunity to keep people healthy while continuing to maximize participation opportunities for all students.
OAR 333-019-1025 and OAR 333-019-1015 outline the state-mandated masking requirements. Remember that a school, county, or facility may institute more restrictive requirements and a visiting school, and its supporters must adhere to the more restrictive measures in place from their hosting opponent.
Indoor or Outdoor
Students are not required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors when practicing or playing a competitive sport. Students not actively participating (i.e., on the sideline during an indoor or outdoor competition, etc.) are required to wear a mask.
Spectators (5 years or older), coaches and support staff, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask in an indoor setting, except when actively eating or drinking.
Spectators (5 years or older), coaches and support staff, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask in an outdoor setting if the individuals cannot or do not maintain at least six feet of distance from individuals not in their household, except when actively eating or drinking.
OHA Indoor Space Masking Requirements
A person responsible for an indoor space must:
(a) Ensure that employees, contractors, and volunteers comply with this rule within the indoor space.
(b) Make reasonable efforts to ensure customers, guests, visitors, and other individuals comply with this rule within the indoor space.
(c) Post signs at every entrance to the indoor space that masks, face coverings or face shields are required as described in this rule.
OHA Outdoor Space Masking Requirements:
An organizer of an event or gathering in an outdoor space must:
(a) Ensure that employees, contractors, and volunteers comply with this rule during the event or gathering.
(b) Post signs at every entrance to the event or gathering that masks, face coverings or face shields are required as described in the rule, if they are not already posted.
Communication Expectations Prior to and During an Event
- OSAA Rule 1.5 requires a principal to designate an authorized representative to accompany teams or individuals participating in an activity. The school shall be responsible for acts of its school teams or individuals while on trips, or while participating in any such activity. If an authorized representative is used, they shall also be included in any pre-event communication between schools regarding masking requirements and any additional restrictions put in place by the host school.
- Host school posts signs at every entrance to the event that masks are required as described in the OHA rule.
- Host school to provide masks at entrances, if needed.
- Public address announcements read throughout the event outlining OHA masking requirements.
Best Practice Procedures for Non-Compliance
NOTE: Each of these procedures must be followed, along with communication between administrators from the participating schools verifying the processes followed, prior to ending a contest.
- Public address announcements read reminding individuals of the need to follow the masking requirements.
- Administration of the school affiliated with the person(s) not complying to request that the person(s) follow the masking requirements.
- If still non-compliant, person(s) asked to leave the facility.
- If person(s) refuse(s) to leave the facility, the contest may be interrupted to address the situation.
- Final opportunity for person(s) to leave the facility or the contest may be delayed or ended.
- Consider requiring all spectators to vacate the facility prior to the contest being delayed or ended.
- End the contest. A forfeit may be assessed to the school affiliated with the person(s) not complying, with potential additional sanctions as determined by the Executive Board.