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Spring sports season on Okinawa, basketball in Korea delayed

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 14, 2021

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The start of conditioning workouts for DODEA-Okinawa spring sports and the basketball season in Korea have been put on hold due to accelerated concerns over the coronavirus in both areas, DODEA officials said.

Okinawa’s spring sports season had been scheduled to start Tuesday, while basketball tryouts in Korea were slated to begin on Jan. 4.

But U.S. Forces Korea implemented Health Protection Condition C - substantial risk of coronavirus transmission - in mid-December and has been there since. In HPCON C, no high school athletics of any kind are permitted, according to USFK and DODEA guidelines.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in HPCON B, or Bravo, meaning moderate transmission risk. But Marine Corps and Air Force installations on the island canceled youth sports programs and reduced food services to take-out only due to an elevated number of cases on island.

Thus, DODEA-Okinawa “is delaying the start of their spring sports conditioning,” district community superintendent Jacqueline Ferguson wrote in an email to Stripes.

In Korea, though it’s two-plus weeks past the scheduled start of basketball tryouts, “there have been no changes at this time for basketball,” DODEA-Pacific spokeswoman Miranda Ferguson wrote in an email to Stripes.

DODEA-Korea schools transitioned to remote instruction starting Jan. 6.