WIAA releases return-to-activity guidelines for high school sports
June 25, 2020
RENTON- The WIAA released guidance for opening high school athletics and activities in accordance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase state re-opening plan Monday.
The document detailed guidelines for schools for each of the four phases.
The document also noted that if a school or school district is closed over COVID-19 concerns, than all training, practices and games for that school or district should be canceled.
Points of emphasis for all four phases included decreasing exposure to respiratory droplets through physical distancing and mask-wearing, constant testing for the virus, the possibility of isolation and quarantine by entire teams or students and limited travel.
The WIAA said coaches and athletes should be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to all workouts. Anyone showing symptoms shouldn’t participate.
Good hygiene is another major emphasis. Students cannot share water bottles or use hydration stations. Facilities must be consistently sanitized before, during and after use.
Other points of emphasis include staying home when sick and holding as many activities as possible outdoors.
Lincoln County, which features predominantly 1B and 2B schools such as Reardan, Davenport, Odessa and Lind-Ritzville/Sprague is in Phase III and is eligible to apply for Phase IV on Friday.
Under Phase III, gatherings would be limited to a maximum of 50 people, indoor or outdoor.
Indoor activities are required to have space for physical distancing. Competitions are recommended to be limited to “local geography,” and sanitation will continually be stressed.
Under Phase IV, gatherings can be over 50 people, but indoors there must be space for social and physical distancing.
The WIAA also released guidelines specific to each sport within each phase. For example, football, which is considered a “high-risk” sport for transmitting COVID-19, must institute various physical distancing, personal hygiene and sanitation measures in accordance with whatever re-opening phase that team’s school is in.
Examples of measures specific to football include the elimination of pre-and-postgame handshakes and each player having their own towel and water bottle.