The recent numerous meetings regarding classifications held by the Oregon Schools Activities Association showed again a major difference between two Oregons.
A major discussion point in determining leagues involved travel distance and time away from the classroom. Testimony from numerous schools on the west side centered on drives of one hour to play an opponent. Members of the classification committee repeatedly stated a primary goal in determining the new leagues was limiting travel. Shorter distances translate to more time in the classroom.
In a presentation before the OSAA Executive Committee, Umatilla Superintendent Heidi Sipe provided a spread sheet providing data of miles teams in the Eastern Oregon League travel. EOS decided to expand Sipe’s work to include other leagues in eastern Oregon and show time sitting on a bus seat versus time on the court or field.
The parameters for this include: league opponents only traveling one way for a typical sport. The reasoning behind this is the inclusion of special districts makes a currently long story completely unreadable.
4A Greater Oregon League (the mileage for this league was taken from Google maps)
Average trip for a Eastern Oregon League team for the 2022-23 season: 161.9 miles (increase of 3.7 miles from the 2021-22 season)
As shown, the travel distance for the Greater Oregon League does comes in just under the 100-mile radius discussed by the OSAA. The student athletes in the Eastern Oregon League are spending much more additional time on a bus than hoped for by the OSAA.
Our next article will look at the eastern Oregon teams in the 2A and 1A levels. Our thanks go to Superintendent Sipe for the forwarding of much of the raw data contained in this story.
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