Badger Conference cancels formal winter sports season, no conference champions

Basketball Antony

OREGON, Wis. — The Badger Conference is expected to announce the winter sports season for certain schools will be canceled due to county health guidelines.

In a statement first sent to families Friday from the Oregon School District, the conference said local health departments will ultimately be the ones to decide whether school districts and athletics can meet. An official announcement from the conference is said to come late Friday.

The conference consists of 16 schools across seven different counties, meaning each district must work with their local health departments and follow county-specific guidelines.

Since some schools will not be able to fully participate, Badger Conference competitions will not be held and conference champions will not be named. However, schools can schedule non-conference competitions with the guidance of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and local public health officials.

Under Dane County’s Emergency Order #9, games and competitions are not allowed. For the Oregon School District, that means all high school and middle school winter sports will be canceled.

“The health and safety of our student athletes, coaches and communities is our top priority,” Oregon School District Director of Athletics Mike Carr said in a statement. “Given Public Health Madison & Dane County’s current guidance, the Badger Conference superintendents, principals and athletic directors have agreed that conference competitions cannot take place during the winter season.”

Athletics staff have still encouraged Oregon students who are interested in winter sports to register and submit the required paperwork so they will be ready to participate once public health restrictions are lifted.

The district is speaking with Oregon’s high school coaches for the possibility of small in-person team activities that follow PHMDC’s public health guidelines. Virtual team activities for high school athletes will also continue into the winter.

The district is working with its middle school partners to possibly shift middle school practices and games to later in the academic school year.