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Possible move to Oregon State Athletic Association (OSAA)
Posted On:
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Bickleton Schools Seek Community Input Into Potential Move

                               From WIAA to the OSAA

Background: Over the past few years, Trout Lake and Lyle have been looking into other options for their school athletic programs because it is becoming more difficult to fill schedules with 1B schools because of the lack of 1B schools in South Central Washington. Last year, Trout Lake and Lyle approached the Big Sky league about potentially joining their league. At a District 5 Columbia Gorge league meeting Trout Lake and Lyle requested to be released from our league. The other athletic directors had issue with this since many of the schools were experiencing the same problems and with Trout Lake and Lyle departures, it would create an already difficult situation more difficult. At that point, the conversation turned to a “what if” all the schools in our league made the move. After doing some research and visiting with the Big Sky league, Lyle/Wishram, Klickitat, Glenwood and Bickleton all saw the potential of a move to the Big Sky League being in the best interest of their student athletes.

The Big Sky League is made up of schools with enrollments of up to 80 students (there is a poverty allowance that allows schools to have over 80 students). We have included the enrollments of the Big Sky League. The schools are mostly located in small farm towns similar to Bickleton. We have included a mileage chart to show the distances we will drive to the Big Sky League (south of Biggs Jct. OR. and Arlington OR.) We are also including mileage to District 6 (most of which are north of Ellensburg) and District 9 (mostly located east and north of Connell) schools because they would be the only options we have for league play if we do not join OSAA. Depending on the leagues’ schedules, we still may be playing our old 1B competitors in Klickitat County along with the Big Sky schools, but we would probably not schedule Sunnyside Christian, Yakama Tribal and some of the JV and C squads in the 2B and 1A schools in the Yakima Valley. Another advantage to the Big Sky League is basketball season is played almost exclusively on Fridays and Saturdays.

A recent article in the Goldendale Sentinel read as if Bickleton had already joined the OSAA. This is not completely accurate. After much discussion, the Bickleton School Board authorized athletic director Bill Daley to continue forward in the process of leaving the WIAA and joining OSAA with the knowledge that at any point the district could opt out at any time. After OSAA considers our request to join in December 2018 and if they vote to accept, the Bickleton School Board will then vote whether to commit to being part of the OSAA for 4 years or stay a member of the WIAA.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this issue, please contact Tom Whitmore, superintendent; Bill Daley, athletic director; and/or Tom Mains, John Jensen, Gary Hess, Mary Jo Hanson, board members. They would appreciate the opportunity to visit with you.

Following is a commentary from athletic director, Bill Daley: On September 23, 2018 the WIAA approved the request of Bickleton along with Lyle/Wishram, Trout Lake, Klickitat, and Glenwood the opportunity to pursue moving from Washington’s activity association (WIAA) to Oregon’s activity association (OSAA). In December 2018, the OSAA is going to vote on whether or not to allow Bickleton, along with the previously mentioned schools, the opportunity to join the OSAA as members of the Big Sky 1A League beginning with the 2019-20 school year. Those schools choosing to join the OSAA would have a four (4) year commitment to the OSAA.

The reasons for seeking the opportunity to become a member of OSAA as a member of the Big Sky League are as follows:

1)      With the approval of the schools of Klickitat/Glenwood/Trout Lake/Lyle/Wishram, the Greater Columbia League will no longer exist. If Bickleton stays in the WIAA we would not be able to schedule the other schools leaving to the OSAA.

2)      This will create a huge void for Bickleton in developing competitive schedules with like 1B schools in the State of Washington. The only local schools within our classification are Sunnyside Christian and Yakama Tribal.

3)      The option to join the District 6 1B or District 9 1B leagues are really out of the question due to extensive travel miles

4)      The Big Sky League along with the other schools seeking to join the OSAA have similar/like schools and communities.

5)      Middle level athletics will remain in the current configuration.




Local School Board Approval to seek the option of joining the OSAA – May 22, 2018

Greater Columbia Gorge League vote allowing schools to seek option of joining OSAA – May 29, 2018

Presentation to WIAA Executive Board – June 3, 2018

WIAA Executive Board grants opportunity for schools to seek joining OSAA – September 2018

OSAA Executive Board will vote on approval of Washington schools joining OSAA – December 2018

Bickleton’s decision on membership in OSAA in Fall 2019 or remain a WIAA Member – December 2018


1A Big Sky League  school enrollment numbers


Arlington 44

Condon 24

Dufur 80

Horizon Christian Hood River 67

Ione 68

Mitchell 27

Sherman 67

South Wasco County 67

Spray 17

Wheeler 24

Echo (enter in 18-19) 82

***enrollment counts grades 9-12***

Bickleton Enrollment 9-12: (8th graders not allowed to participate in high school sports in Oregon)

                2018-19 = 27     2019-20 = 32 (projected)      2020-21 = 35 (projected)      2021-22 = 39 (projected)



Big Sky Schools

Total Miles 1-Way

Travel Time by car

Horizon Christian (Hood River)


1 hr 47 min



1 hr 39 min

South Wasco (Maupin)


2 hr 7 min

Sherman County


1 hr 29 min



2 hr 8 min



1 hr 40 min



3 hr 8 min/3 hr 26 min



2 hr 25 min

Echo (admission in 2018-19)


1 hr 40 min

Lyle/Wishram(admission in 2019-20)


1 hr 25 min

Trout Lake(admission in 2019-20)


2 hr 5 min



1 hr 20 min/1 hr 39 min








If Bickleton does not join the OSAA, the below tables show the mileage to the schools we would most likely compete against.

Greater Columbia Schools

Total Miles 1-way

Travel Time by Bus

Sunnyside Christian


47 min

Yakama Tribal


55 min

District 6 Schools

Total Miles 1-way

Travel Time by Bus

Cascade Ch. (Wenatchee)


3 hr 2 min

Moses Lake Christian


2 hr 31 min



3 hr 24 min



2 hr 29 min

Riverside Christian


1 hr 17 min



3 hr 34 min



3 hr 34 min

Upper Valley Christian


2 hr 59 min

Wilson Creek


2 hr 57 min


District 9 Schools

Total Miles 1-way

Travel Time by Bus



3 hr 45 min

Garfield Palouse


3 hr 36 min



2 hr 8 min



2 hr 48 min



2 hr 22 min



3 hr 39 min



3 hr 9 min



2 hr 5 min

St John


3 hr 28 min



3 hr 12 min



3 hr 12 min



2 hr 16 min



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