Oxford Hills celebrates with the Gold Ball after beating South Portland 49-38 in the Class AA girls’ basketball state championship game on Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

PARIS — Oxford Hills School District Athletic Director Kevin Ryan told the board of directors Monday evening that team practices for moderate- and high-risk sports such as wrestling and basketball have been delayed to Jan. 4 as COVID-19 continues to spread in Maine.

It was one of many updates he shared from the Maine Principals’ Association and the Maine Department of Education.

Practices for wrestling and basketball were to start this week but were postponed because Oxford County is designated by the state as being at moderate risk for spread of the virus. If and when the county is designated low risk, wrestlers will be able to do conditioning but must wear face coverings and maintain 6-foot distances.

For now, the district cannot provide skill-building drills or conditioning for sports.

There will not be any basketball tournaments this winter.

Indoor track for SAD 17 has been postponed, partly because of limits on indoor gatherings and because some events are held at college facilities, which are off limits to the public.


Ryan said all coaches have been provided with virtual COVID-19 training on guidelines and modifications in place for the season. Each team will maintain a COVID-19 sanitation kit with personal protection equipment, equipment sanitizer and an emergency plan if any team members show virus symptoms during games or practices.

Other updates include:

• Cheering squads will not be allowed to vocalize during games.

• No spectators will be allowed at any indoor games.

• Athletes, both home and away, will arrive for games fully dressed to play and will not enter locker rooms.

• All skiing has been postponed.

Ryan said staff is working to provide live feeds for games played in the school gymnasium in Paris. Teams will only play others in the same county or neighboring communities.

Some directors said not allowing practices, even though Oxford County is designated moderate risk, is overkill. They asked Ryan if he could request exceptions for at least outdoor sports such as skiing.

Ryan said he would do so, but MPA’s rule is based on a fall sports team in a designated moderate risk county that practiced outdoors and had an outbreak of the virus.

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