WIAA announces delay to start of fall sports practices
July 16, 2020
RENTON—The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced July 7 that the start of fall sports practices will be delayed to Sept. 5 for football and Labor Day, Sept. 7, for all other fall sports.
“The (Executive) Board will continue to work with staff, member schools and state agencies to monitor the impact of COVID-19,” the WIAA said in a release.
Because teams are required to practice for at least two weeks and hold 10 practices in that time span before beginning competition, this ruling pushes the start of football games, cross country meets and other fall sports games back to a minimum of Sept. 19. Game schedules will have to be revamped.
Boy’s golf is the lone exception, as there is no practice time requirement before competition can begin.
The minimum two-week season delay means re-evaluation of opening games.
The fall sports situation continues to be fluid and unknown. The WIAA promised that another statement would be coming after its July 22 meeting.
The July 7 ruling does not override the WIAA’s previous guidelines stating that sports can only start in accordance with Gov. Inslee’s four-phase state re-opening plan.
Since the state put a halt on counties advancing to Phase 4 for the time being as COVID-19 cases rise more rapidly, for counties in Phase Three when fall sports are set to begin, only “lower risk” sporting competitions can resume, including golf, swimming and staggered start cross country, according to recently released WIAA guidelines.
The halt on advancing in phases will be re-evaluated by the governor and Department of Health after two weeks.
For counties in Phase 4 by fall, seasonal sports such as volleyball, softball, soccer and basketball can resume. Therefs no set-in-stone guideline yet on when football can resume, according to WIAA phase re-opening guidelines. Football is considered ghigh-riskh for COVID-19 transmission.