WIAA modifies 2020-2021 sports season calendar; Walla Walla Public Schools developing plan based on state modifications
School sports in Walla Walla and across the state will look different this school year following action from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board July 21 to modify the 2020-21 WIAA sports season calendar in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes will create four WIAA-sanctioned seasons and will also move moderate- and high-risk team sports, originally scheduled for the fall season, to the WIAA Season 3.
Modified Sports Schedule
• WIAA Season 1: Cross Country, Slowpitch Softball, Girls Swim & Dive*, Golf (Alternative Season), Tennis (Alternative Season)
• WIAA Season 2: Basketball, Bowling, Boys Swim & Dive, Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Wrestling
• WIAA Season 3: Volleyball, Girls Soccer, 1B/2B Boys Soccer, Football
• WIAA Season 4: Tennis, Fastpitch Softball, Track & Field, Baseball, Golf, Boys Soccer, Dance/Drill
“While disappointing that some sports programs will not be held during their traditional times, we are deeply grateful that WIAA has developed a roadmap that will permit students the ability to still participate in their respective programs,” said WWPS Athletic Director Dirk Hansen. “We are in the process of evaluating this recent news and have begun developing plans aligned with this recent adjustment.”
Hansen said he will be sharing more information with coaches, athletes and parents soon. He says he remains hopeful, optimistic and positive there will be sports this school year for student-athletes.
“This has been tough on our coaches and athletes,” said Hansen. ”Now more than ever they need our encouragement, love, and support.”
The fall sports of cross country, slowpitch softball, as well as alternative seasons for golf and tennis, have been determined to consist of WIAA Season 1 and will each begin practices the week of September 7, a date determined by the Executive Board at a previous meeting. The viability of girls’ swim and dive taking place in WIAA Season 1 is dependent on more information from the Department of Health. The remaining fall sports of girls’ soccer, 1B/2B boys soccer, volleyball and football will now be scheduled to begin in the early spring of 2021 as part of WIAA Season 3.
The WIAA Board recognizes that participation in any fall sports will depend on county progression through the phases laid out in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan over the coming weeks. The WIAA Executive Board will create benchmarks on July 28 to be met in order for WIAA Season 1 to take place. If the benchmarks are not met, the Board will plan to move the remainder of fall sports to WIAA Season 3.
Traditional winter sports will all take place in WIAA Season 2 with the expectation to begin in late December or early January. Traditional spring sports will occupy WIAA Season 4 to end the school year.
The supporting document in the link below provides tentative dates of when seasons could potentially start and end, but a final decision has not been determined by the WIAA Board.
WIAA Tentative Modified Sports Season Calendar Dates:
“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.”
The WIAA Executive Board and planning committees are working under the Return-To-Activity Guidelines supported and co-authored by the National Federation of High Schools, Washington Department of Health and the Governor’s Office, as well as sport-specific guidelines set forth by WIAA committees made up of coaches, athletic directors, students, officials and local health professionals.