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Washington releases guidelines for return of high school sports

The organization says that five points must be met before a return to play can be permitted for student-athletes in Washington.
Credit: WIAA

SPOKANE, Wash. — Amid calls from student-athletes and parents to have fall sports this fall, the WIAA has released criteria for the return of high school sports in Washington.

Here is that criteria:

  1. Governor to recommend return to play.
  2. DOH to provide guidance on required steps to return to play.
  3. Risk management to review any new recommendation in response to Governor and DOH.
  4. School leadership to commit to play.
    1. Most would consider return to play once students are able to return to school even in a hybrid model.
    2. Coaches under collective bargaining agreements would need to support return to play.
  5. WIAA Executive Board to review current schedule with new recommendations.

So far, Gov. Jay Inslee has not supported a return to play, which means none of the other steps can get in motion. Additionally, most major school districts around the state of Washington are fully online, including Spokane Public Schools.

If these criteria cannot be met in the fall, this is still good information for winter sports, which are slated to begin practice in the final week of December.

The WIAA also released guidelines for what they would consider if sports became feasible to play in the fall:

  1. Do schools have the resources and ability to meet any new recommendations that may come from Governor’s Office and DOH?
  2. Would a limited fall season provide more, or less, opportunity for a majority of WIAA participants?
    1. Currently, the WIAA schedule provides for 7 regular-season contests in the spring plus one additional contest for schools that do not qualify to postseason.
  3. What would students gain by playing in the fall rather than the revised scheduled seasons?
  4. What is a realistic start date for a fall season if recommendations and guidelines change? How much time is needed for students to return safely?
  5. Would a late fall start disproportionately impact fall sports such as golf, tennis and cross country due to weather issues?
  6. Allow competition between schools that desire to play contests during the open period currently scheduled September 28-November 30.
Credit: WIAA