The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Executive Board voted to amend its season schedule, moving traditional fall sports to Season 1 while choosing to review Seasons 2 and 3 at its Jan. 19 meeting.
Season 1 will span seven weeks in length, beginning with pre-competition practices on Feb. 1 and ending on March 20, according to a WIAA statement after a Jan. 6 board meeting.
The sports scheduled for that season include cross country, football, golf (alternate), slowpitch softball, girls and 1B/2B boys soccer, girls swim and dive, tennis (alternate) and volleyball.
The change comes after Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Jan. 5 the “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery” plan which outlined a new set of guidelines and metrics for the resumption of education-based athletics and activities in Washington. Sports will maintain their previously assigned risk levels; however, the level of participation for each activity will vary in Phase 1 or Phase 2.
“The change in guidelines allow all traditional fall sports to be played in Phase 2 while we still do not have a clear pathway to the high risk indoor activities of basketball, competitive cheer and dance, and wrestling” said WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman. “With that in mind, moving fall sports to Season 1 will hopefully provide the most opportunities to participate.”
While the board will provide a uniform season schedule concluding in regional culminating events, it has granted each WIAA league or district around the state the ability to reschedule seasons to best fit their local communities.
WIAA staff will continue to work with the state Department of Health to gain more clarity surrounding the guidelines that were issued on Jan. 5.
“We are hoping to receive more details that were not included in the governor’s announcement, particularly surrounding indoor sports and activities,” Hoffman said. “As we continue to gather more information and evaluate the new metrics, the board will be able to make better decisions about the remainder of the year.”
In addition to changing the sports scheduled for Season 1, the board voted to extend the open coaching period at each school up until the day before the first season begins at that school.