Washington State High School Sports Approved to Begin on February 1

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
  • football
  • golf 
  • slowpitch softball
  • girls and 1B/2B boys soccer
  • girls swim and dive
  • tennis
  • volleyball

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.”


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3 years ago

A lot of internal debate amongst coaches here in the state regarding feasibility of that Feb 1st season start date. Some districts are opting for different/altered plans from the WIAA (later start dates). A lot of high school programs in Western Washington are currently without a pool for the upcoming season – the post season is going to look quite different this year. However, this was a long time coming and I am SO excited to get our girls back in the water. Life without the stress of swim meets is shockingly dull for a coach.

Reply to  neffry
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing the inside perspective.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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