On Tuesday, July 21st, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Executive Board announced a major modification the 2020-21 high school sports seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The modification creates four high school sports seasons – versus the traditional three – and moves moderate and high-risk fall team sports to season 3 in the spring. Traditional season 3 team sports then move to newly created season 4.
As currently scheduled, the fall sports of cross country, as well as alternative golf and tennis seasons, will still happen. Practices are currently scheduled to start in early September.
According to a WIAA news release, the viability of girls’ swim and dive happening this fall is dependent on additional information from the Department of Health.
The changes means Mount Si girls’ soccer and volleyball, as well as boys football, will now start in early spring 2021.
The WIAA Board said it recognizes that participation in any fall sports will depend on counties ability to progress through phases laid out in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan over the coming weeks.
Mount Si High School Sean Sundwall said, “We can easily practice under Phase 3, but we may need to be in Phase 4, or more likely, a modified Phase 3 to allow for competition. I am confident that working together with the WIAA and the Health Department, we coaches can provide a safe and competitive opportunity for athletes in the Fall.”
The WIAA board also said on July 28th it would create benchmarks to be met in order for the fall season to take place. If those benchmarks aren’t met, it will also move the remainder of fall sports to the spring season.
Under the new 4 Season Plan, all traditional winter sports will take place in Season 2, anticipated to start in late December or early January. Traditional spring sports will occupy new Season 4, tentatively scheduled to run from late April until the end of the school year.
“Since March, the philosophy of our Association has been to allow students every chance to participate,” said WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman. “We’ve asked our Executive Board and planning committees to be as creative as possible in allowing for those opportunities. These are tough and unprecedented decisions to make, but it has been inspiring to see so many people around the state come together to work on behalf of students.”