(October 6, 2020) - The Governor’s Office and Washington State Department of Health issued new guidance for returning to education-based sports and activities, Tuesday, using the statistical benchmarks of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in a given county as well as the percentage of positive tests. The WIAA has used this guidance from the Department of Health to develop new general, as well as sport-specific, return-to-play guidelines which will replace those previously tied to phasing in the Governor’s Safe Start Plan. The Governor’s office has informed the WIAA that these guidelines must be followed and neither schools nor community sports programs have the authority to implement more lenient policies.
These revised guidelines give greater flexibility to school administrators to offer education-based athletics and activities and meet the demand of their students and communities. The WIAA Executive Board and staff are pleased with the work that has been done to allow students to be more involved with their schools, as participation in the school setting provides safer and more equitable opportunities for students, especially during this time. Staff will continue to work with decision-makers to evaluate participation in sports deemed high-risk by reviewing all data and documentation available in hopes it may be appropriate to qualify them as moderate risk.
2020-2021 Sport Season Start Dates (updated December 18, 2020)
Last month the WIAA announced that schools could begin competing in winter sports on February 1. However, leagues were given the authority by the WIAA board to develop a different plan to accommodate conditions in their area. Final approval of any plan rests with the WIAA and each Wesco superintendent. In reviewing current guidelines and COVID-19 data and a goal to provide a legitimate opportunity for all sports to have a chance to be played this year, Wesco Athletic Directors have proposed the following schedule.
- February 22-April 3: Fall Sports (football, cross country, girls swim & dive, girls soccer, boys tennis, volleyball)
- March 29-May 8: Spring Sports (baseball, fastpitch, track & field, girls tennis, boys & girls golf, boys soccer)
- May 3-June 12: Winter Sports (boys & girls basketball, boys & girls wrestling, boys swim & dive)
The league will determine by February 1, if any of the fall sports will not be allowed to start on February 22 due to restrictions in place at that time. In the event a sport would not be able to start on February 22, that sport will be moved to one of the remaining seasons. In the event that most of the fall sports would not be able to begin on February 22, the league will look at offering all sports over a two season calendar beginning March 8.