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High school football, volleyball and soccer seasons delayed until spring in Washington due to COVID-19

Several high school sports, including football, will not take place this fall in Washington as schools deal with the impact of coronavirus.

AUBURN, Wash. — Several high school sports will not take place this fall in Washington state. 

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association moved football, volleyball, girls soccer, and boys 1B/2B soccer to the spring.

The director of the association called it a "tough and unprecedented decision."

A start date for fall school sports could change again as Washington schools continue to deal with the impact of coronavirus.

Here is the breakdown of the seasons: 

  • Low-risk sports and solo sports will be taking place from Sept. 7 to Nov. 8 those sports include cross country, slowpitch softball, girls swim and dive, golf and tennis. 
  • Winter sports remain unchanged, but the season will start in January instead of December. The season starts on Jan. 4 and runs through March 7. Impacted sports are basketball, bowling, boys swim and dive, gymnastics, cheerleading and wrestling. 
  • Fall sports are seeing the greatest impact, with the season starting on March 1 through May 9. Those sports are football, volleyball, girls soccer, and boys 1B/2B soccer.
  • Normal spring sports will begin on April 28 and run through the end of the school year.

The board made a decision on July 7 to initially push back the start of fall sports by two weeks.

The Washington State Interscholastic Activities Association previously released guidelines for high school sports when practice and competitions resume, based on the current phase under Gov. Jay Inslee's "Safe Start" plan the county is in. 

"When a school, schools, or district are closed due to COVID-19, all training, practice, and contests for the school(s) or district should also be canceled," the guidelines read.

In Phase 2, workouts are limited to groups of five or fewer students, and players must keep 6 feet of distance. Players should not share or touch the same ball or equipment. For example, a basketball player can shoot hoops, but a team can’t pass the ball among themselves.

In Phase 3, lower risk sports practices and competitions can resume. These include individual sports, such as individual running or throwing events, swimming, golf and weightlifting. Competition must remain local.

In Phase 4, moderate risk sports can resume practices and competitions. These include basketball, soccer, swimming relays and 7 on 7 football. 

The WIAA Executive Board will create benchmarks on July 28 to be met in order sports like cross country, slowpitch softball, girls swim & dive, golf and tennis to take place. If the benchmarks are not met, the Board will plan to move the remainder of fall sports to spring 2021.

See the full, tentative revised sports schedule here.