The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), which oversees all high school sports within the state of Washington, has decided to move forward with Season 1 of its three season plan.
The announcement from the WIAA follows a press release from Governor Jay Inslee, which revealed that the state would be moving forward with Phase 1 of its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the announcement, all counties within the state of Washington will be allowed to enter Phase 1 of reopening on January 11. While in this category, low-risk sports, including swimming, diving, dance, gymnastics, and climbing, will be permitted to practice in groups of no more than 5 athletes . However, no competitions may occur and moderate risk and high risk sports will not be allowed to practice. Other activities permitted during Phase 1 include outdoor dining, outdoor social gatherings of no more than 10 people, appointment-based fitness training, and outdoor guided activities such as hiking or biking.
The WIAA Executive Committee previously approved a three season model for the school year. Following the announcement, the committee voted to amend the original plan, allowing for all fall sports to be held during Season 1, which runs from February 1 through March 20. Sports typically held in this season include:
- cross country
- slowpitch softball
- girls and 1B/2B boys soccer
- girls swim and dive
The WIAA has not yet released guidance for how the sports will be conducted under COVID-19 protocols. In addition, the WIAA Executive Committee is expected to vote on when to begin Seasons 2 and 3 of the plan during their meeting on February 19.
“We are hoping to receive more details that were not included in the Governor’s announcement on Tuesday, particularly surrounding indoor sports and activities,” WIAA Executive Director Mick 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.”