WIAA Modifies High School Athletics Calendar
WIAA Modifies High School Athletics Calendar
Posted on 07/24/2020
WIAA Modifies High School Athletics Calendar

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) has modified the 2020-21 WIAA sports season calendar. The changes will create four WIAA-sanctioned seasons and will move moderate- and high-risk team sports, originally scheduled for the fall season, to the WIAA Season 3.  As a result of the changes, football, volleyball, and girls’ soccer will take place during WIAA Season 3, rather than in the fall. These sports are considered moderate- and high-risk team sports related to COVID-19.

The calendar modifications only apply to the 2020-21 high school sports (grades 9-12). Each season will last eight weeks, compared to the normal 12-week season.

The four WIAA sports seasons for the 2020-21 season are:

  • WIAA Season 1: (Sep. 7-Nov. 8) Cross Country, Golf, Boys Tennis -- currently under review 

  • WIAA Season 2: (Dec. 28-Mar. 7) Basketball, Bowling, Boys Swim & Dive, Gymnastics, Wrestling

  • WIAA Season 3: (Mar. 1-May 2) Volleyball, Girls Soccer, Football (to start Feb. 17), Cheerleading (moved from Season 2), Girls Swim & Dive (moved from Season 1 based off DOH guidance)

  • WIAA Season 4: (Apr. 26-June 27) Girls Tennis, Fastpitch Softball, Track & Field, Baseball, Boys Soccer, Dance/Drill

 

View the modified calendar.

Jim Meyerhoff, Puyallup School District Director of Instructional Leadership, Athletics, Health, and Fitness says, “The modified calendar is a smart move. Nothing is canceled. It gives students a chance to compete and our coaches the ability to coach.”

The District is working with the South Puget Sound League (SPSL), West Central District, WIAA, and the National Federation of State High School Associations to finalize safety guidelines for student athletes. The WIAA uses NFHS as its governing body. The NFHS has national guidelines for how sports return to play and the WIAA used this document to work with the Washington State Department of Health and Washington State Governors Office to ensure a safe return to sports meets Washington state guidelines.

“The WIAA guidelines really go through general and sports-specific items. We will work with our coaches and be able to have specific guidelines. The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. A specific example of a change in procedure is Cross Country in the fall  – instead of 50 people at a start line, a staggered start time, such as every 15 seconds, will be required. Post-race, students and staff will not be allowed to gather in large groups.

The District and the WIAA director acknowledge plans and calendars may change based on direction from the WIAA Board, the department of health, and the governor. Schools will communicate information as it becomes available.

“I think the WIAA did a really good job of looking at the overall picture. I know that many times those of us in a particular sport tend to focus on that sport and how it affects us personally. The WIAA looked at all sports and considered how to make it work for all. I believe they did a good job of really looking at the overall program and trying to figure out a way, so it works for all WIAA sports,” says Meyerhoff.