The Executive Board of the Oregon Schools Activities Association [OSAA] has reached a final decision on new placements of teams in the state. Teams will be moved up and down from the Great Valley Conference [GVC] in the 2018-2019 school year. The OSAA league changes are based not only on the size of the school, but also how many athletes the school attracts on average.
Bend, Mountain View, and Summit High Schools are all moving up to the 6A GVC while North Salem High School is going down to the 5A Mid-Willamette Conference. North will be moved down to the Mid-Willamette Conference due to an inability to draw in enough student athletes to compete with other school’s sizes in the GVC. Bend schools will be moving up from the 5A Special District to the GVC, because enrollment rates have been going up the past years, therefore bringing in more student athletes.
“We agree that the Bend schools are formidable opponents, however, travel presents safety concerns, impacts instructional time and at an estimated cost of $700,000 a year, simply isn’t in our budget. We are committed to working with the Bend-La Pine Schools to be creative in our scheduling to minimize impacts to our student-athletes and their families.” said Director of High School Education for Salem Keizer Schools, Larry Ramirez.
The travel distance from Salem to Bend is roughly two to three hours, and will take away instructional time for teams. Students will have to leave school early more often in order to compete with Bend schools.
For the past four years there have been multiple proposals to decide where to place Bend schools because of their increase in enrollment .
“During the past four years the Bend schools have grown significantly in enrollment and no longer are a fit with 5A schools. At the 6A classification there were three main options for league placement for these schools as the committee saw it – Eugene-Medford, Salem-Keizer, and East Portland,” said Peter Weber, Executive Director of the OSAA
Salem-Keizer was chosen for league placement because it had a shorter travel distance than Eugene-Medford or East Portland. In the 2018-2019 school year Salem will compete against Bend in the 6A GVC.