A deeply divided Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors rejected a proposed plan that would have placed significant restrictions on a return to prep sports in Oklahoma.

By a vote of 7-6 the board voted against adopting the far-reaching proposal. If the proposal had been adopted it would have impacted several sports and likely would have scuttled summer baseball in Enid. By rejecting the plan, the path now appears clear for the Enid Majors and Enid Plainsmen to open their Connie Mack baseball seasons and for the Connie Mack tournaments scheduled for July at David Allen Memorial Ballpark to be played.

The vote means that the rules in OSSAA's administrative handbook will remain in place and high school sports can start up June 1 with no COVID-19 limitations or restrictions.

If the plan had been approved as recommended by Rick Pool of Kiowa, and seconded by Mike Simpson of Guthrie, OSSAA's three-phase plan would have gone into place June 1 with a plan to revisit and possibly amend or change the plan in the OSSAA’s regular meeting June 9.

Voting no to the proposal were Jerry Needham of Oktaha, Craig McVay of El Reno, Jason Sternberger of Kingfisher, Rusty Puffinbarger of Leedey, Bryan McNutt of Antlers, Rex Trent of Binger-Olney and Don Schneberger of Boone-Apache.

Voting yes were Pool, Simpson, Darren Melton of Lincoln Christian, Duane Merideth of Durant, Sean McDaniel of Oklahoma City Schools and Jerry Olanson of Glenpool.

This story will be updated.

Below is the proposed plan that was rejected:

The OSSAA worked with state agencies, physicians and the CDC to develop the plan. All of the following mandates must be in place to restart. The plan is fluid and adjustments may need to be made.

Phase 1: June 1 - June 28

On June 1, OSSAA member school coaches may have face-to-face contact with secondary level students using special provisions. No practice or activity-specific instruction, or camps, clinics or leagues may be conducted. Strength and conditioning is permitted.

Everyone must have their temperature checked upon arrival. Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 must be sent home. Hands must be washed and hand sanitizer used before touching any equipment. Locker rooms and bathrooms must be sanitized before and after use each day.

There will be a two-person maximum at any piece of equipment, and the spotter must wear a mask. All groups must be at least 6 feet apart, with the total number of people in the weight room complying with 6 feet between each group. Hands must be washed every 30 minutes, and activities using weights, balls, bats, helmets and more must be disinfected every 30 minutes.

Coaches must wear face masks and no personal equipment, like bottles, towels and gloves, are permitted.

There will be no one-on-one scrimmaging, no infield or outfield drills and batting practice must only be live pitch with no catcher or from a tee.

Phase 2: June 29 - July 31

No camps, clinics or leagues may be conducted. Activity-specific instruction may begin.

All participants must comply with social distancing measures. No activity will be longer than 60 minutes. Football practice can be held if it is noncontact only.

Noncontact is defined as the only protective equipment used is helmets, players shall not participate in drills that are designed to cause direct contact with another person. Training devices like air and stand-up dummies, tackling wheels or blocking shields may be used.

Intrasquad scrimmages will be allowed and tryouts will be permitted.

On July 15, unrestricted practice may begin for band, cross country, fall baseball, fastpitch softball and volleyball.

Phase 3: Aug. 1

Practice may continue for band, cross country, fall baseball, fastpitch softball and volleyball. All other activities shall stop specific instruction.

All nonathletic activities are included in these restrictions. Screening players must occur each day. If a person is sent home, they are not permitted to return the same day.

This plan will be presented to the OSSAA's board of directors Friday. If approved, it will be sent out to administrators across the state immediately after the meeting's conclusion and begin the process of restarting high school activities.

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Ruthenberg is sports editor for the Enid News & Eagle.

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Dave? Send an email to daver@enidnews.com.

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