School districts working around smoke to protect student athletes

Medford School District, Sept. 8th 2017, (KTVL/Megan Allison)

MEDFORD -- Coaches are finding a new normal while air quality takes a hit.

"This is the second week in a row that the Spiegelberg Stadium will be quiet and dark which is unprecedented in our history of football here in Medford. The North Medford team will be traveling to Redding," said Medford Athletic Director Amy Tiger with the Medford School District.

Tiger said scheduling away games is the Plan B, but as air quality constantly shifts it's not an easy task.

"It looked really great in Lakeview, so we called Lakeview and they said great, you're number 30 on the wait list. Clearly everybody had the same idea. So it's hard to try and find spaces," Tiger said.

Coaches are taking practices on a day by day basis, but the Oregon School Activities Association will not allow outdoor games until the air quality is moderate.

"I think the season is what it is and we'll have to accomodate. We don't want to have to cancel games. The unique thing with football is you can only play one game a week. So we couldn't cancel tonight's game and play two next week. We've got to play by Saturday," said Phoenix Athletic Director Dave Ehrhardt.

The OSAA is continuing to work with schools to see if playoff schedules will change. As for practices, athletes across the board are getting used to team up indoors.

When teams are able to practice outdoors it will be for shorter lengths of time, and with multiple breaks for athletes.

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