WIAA released revised sports season calendar for 2020-21

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | July 30, 2020 8:00 PM

RENTON — The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board released its modified sports calendar for 2020-21 as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new schedule will feature four seasons with moderate- to high-risk fall sports moving to the new Season 3.

Sports have been broken down into three tiers: lower risk, moderate risk and higher risk.

Lower-risk sports are cross country, golf and individual swimming; moderate-risk sports are baseball, basketball, bowling, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, and track and field; higher-risk sports are competitive cheer, competitive dance/drill, football and wrestling.

Season 1 in the fall will include cross country, slowpitch softball, and alternative seasons for golf and tennis. Practices for the fall are scheduled to begin on Sept. 7. It is still undetermined whether a girls swim and dive season will be held in the fall, pending more information from the state Department of Health.

Girls soccer, 1B/2B boys soccer, volleyball and football will now move to a start date in early spring of 2021. Traditional winter sports will begin in late December or early January, while spring sports in Season 4 will be moved to later in the spring.

Participation in any scheduled sports season is dependent on each county’s progression through the phases of the state’s “Safe Start” plan. Benchmarks required to be met will be decided upon by the Executive Board this week. If benchmarks are not met, remaining fall sports will be moved to Season 3.

Warden High School Athletic Director Gary Brandt said they’ll be able to take the extra time in the fall to prepare for the rest of the athletic calendar. Brandt said he expects the spring will be busier with the revised calendar, but said moving spring sports back will make things easier.

“I think they’ve stretched out that final season until the end of June so that’s gonna help things a little bit, take a little longer,” Brandt said. “But, on the other hand, the weather will be nicer, and I think people will be really excited to get back out there. We just hope we can.”

Brandt said most of the past few months has just been a lot of “wait and see” in regards to what the WIAA and state health officials would decide upon. Other than passing along information, he said there’s not a whole lot they can do right now.

“We can make as many plans as we can, but things change quickly,” Brandt said. “I think we need to wait and see where we are when some of these things get a little closer. By pushing it back, it gives us a little breathing room.”

He said he hopes every kid gets a chance to have their season this coming year, in addition to a state championship being held. For now, Brandt said they’re just waiting to see what everything looks like in the coming weeks, and months.