High School Sports: Looking ahead, hopefully, to an SDSSAA winter season

Ella Serre, of Marymount Regals, competes in the high school cross-country running championships at Kivi Park in Sudbury, Ont. on Wednesday October 28, 2020. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network

John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

By the time this column sees the light of day, three out of five local fall high school sport activities will have been successfully concluded, including, in order, golf, baseball and cross-country running.

The two remaining, flag football and boys volleyball, are expected to wrap Nov. 12 and 26, respectively, should all go according to plan.

Begs the question: What should one expect for the winter sport season?

Great question.

To this question, this past Wednesday, a special sub-committee of OFSAA sat down to discuss the fate of winter sport provincial championships. Reps from each region were tasked with reporting the level of programming going on in their districts, and from this an informed response will presumably be forthcoming.

But, really, in my mind the outcome is all but a foregone conclusion. Provincial competitions carry with them extensive travel, overnight accommodations and, for the most part, groups competing well in excess of provincial gathering limits. Just as significantly, there are no programs running elsewhere in the province now and to my knowledge, no plans to ramp up anytime soon.

And, as OFSAA championships go, NOSSA is almost certainly to follow, for exactly the same reasons.

This would leave SDSSAA in the very same position for winter sports as it found itself in for fall sports — that is, offering whatever programming schools feel they can support, based on their board’s blessing, health unit clearance, and provincial sport governing body (PSO) return-to-gameplay status.

As far as it can be determined and as of this moment, alpine and Nordic ski, snowboarding, girls volleyball, badminton, curling and possibly girls’ gymnastics would get the nod, while sports like boys basketball, hockey, swimming and wrestling would be on the outside looking in, at the training-only stage.

Gathering limits and PSO return-to-play protocols being what they are, programming for all affected sports may have to change, implementing among other measures fewer games and shorter seasons. To this end, it would not be out of the question to see the winter sport season start in the New Year, but this has yet to be determined.

The SDSSAA executive will meet virtually next week to review the possibilities and timelines associated with its next sport season.

And, like so many other facets associated with organizing high school sports activities in a pandemic, it will be very interesting to see how this plays out.


High School Notes

Results from yesterday’s SDSSAA cross-country running championships, hosted at Kivi Park are available on the www.chiptimeresults.com website and they will also be summarized on the sdssaa.rainbowschools.ca site, as well.

Girls open pool A flag football semis and finals will be contested Tuesday and Thursday next week in the Lasalle Dome, while open pool B and junior semis and finals have been moved to Nov. 10 and 12, respectively.

Dave Makela is the athletic administrator for the Sudbury District Secondary Schools Athletic Association. His column appears weekly during the high school sports season.

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