Altered HS sports schedule set, placing less-contact sports earlier
The state’s K-12 athletics regulators, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), announced a tentative high school sports schedule on July 22.
The most notable change in the sports schedule is football season, which has been moved to the spring.
The National Federation of State High School Associations and the WIAA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee “believe it is essential to the physical and mental well-being of high school students across the nation to return to physical activity and athletic competition,” a WIAA press release states.
“The WIAA has engaged with the Governor’s Office as well as the State Department of Health and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop guidelines regarding coordinated approaches for return-to-activity for high school and middle schools.”
The WIAA has scheduled four sports seasons. Each season is supporting sports that will be easier to practice social distancing and future guidelines during that period of time.
Season one is scheduled to begin Sept. 7, although certain benchmarks will have to be met in order to carry out sporting events. Sports scheduled for season one are; cross country, slowpitch softball, girls swim and dive, alternative golf and alternative tennis.
Season two will begin after winter break, Jan. 4, 2021, and will end March 7. Season two sports include; boys swim and dive, basketball, bowling, gymnastics, cheerleading and wrestling.
Season 3 begins March 1, 2021, and ends May 2, 2021. Season 3 sports include; Volleyball, boys/girls 1B and 2B soccer, alternative girls swim and dive and football. Football is an exception to the season beginning a week earlier on Feb. 22, and ending a week later on May 9.
Season four will begin on March 26, and continue through the rest of the school year. Season four sports include; tennis, fastpitch softball, track and field, baseball, golf, dance/drill, and 1A-4A boys/girls soccer. Boys and girls lacrosse, although not WIAA sanctioned, will also be taking place in season 4.
Because the state must meet requirements in order for WIAA sporting events to be carried out safely, some sports may change seasons depending on the status of coronavirus and social distancing guidelines. Sports labeled “alternative” refers to an alternative time slot the sport may use. For example, if the state allows for season one of high school sports to take place golf and tennis will be moved because of the fact it is much more conceivable to social distance on the tennis court or golf course rather than the football field.
“As we gain more information about the virus and receive continued feedback from healthcare professionals, these documents will be adjusted to adapt to an ever-changing environment,” the press release stated.
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