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High school, collegiate sporting events canceled

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LA GRANDE — The NBA, NHL and many other professional sports have suspended play or limited fan attendance in attempts to suppress the spread of the coronavirus, and at the NCAA level, all remaining championships for winter and spring sports have been canceled.

The high school and NAIA ranks also have made decisions regarding COVID-19.

The OSAA on Thursday canceled the remaining winter sports championship events, including the 4A, 5A and 6A basketball tournaments, and the Cascade Collegiate Conference — and Eastern Oregon University — have canceled events for the next two weeks.

The NAIA also has canceled the remainder of its winter sports championship events, which includes the wrestling tournament the EOU women’s team was set to begin competing in Friday. 

“As this unprecedented public health emergency continues to evolve, we believe that the responsibility to our member schools and communities regarding the health and safety of participants remains our highest priority,” OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber said in a press release regarding the state's decision to cancel the winter championships.

This cancelation impacts both the La Grande and Baker girls basketball teams, which were scheduled to begin play Thursday in the 4A girls state tournament in Forest Grove. 

At the collegiate level, the CCC has suspended all activities between March 12-29, commissioner Rob Cashell Thursday stated in a press release from the conference. For EOU, that means its next 10 softball games and its track meets for the rest of the month are off the schedule. 

“After very thoughtful consideration our Council of AD’s and Council of President’s support the suspension of CCC competitions for a period of time,” Cashell said in the press release. “The hiatus will allow us all an opportunity to assess the very fluid health crisis going on around the world and determine the best steps moving forward that are in the best interest of the health and welfare of the student-athletes on each of our campuses.”

The conference has formed a task force to monitor the situation.

The NAIA, in its release Thursday which announced the winter championship cancelations, stated it will monitor developments of the disease to determine what it will do for the spring championships. 

OSAA stated it will "soon" have updates on its plan for spring sports, which are slated to begin Monday. 

East Region Sports Editor

Ronald's primary beats are Eastern Oregon University, La Grande High School and the other eight high schools of Union and Wallowa counties. As an avid sports fan, he is primarily reading about or watching sports when he isn't covering a game.

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