RENTON — High school winter sports have been pushed back again.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Executive Board voted Tuesday to delay the start of the winter sports season until Feb. 1 as COVID-19 cases in the state have spiked over the last several weeks.
The board also approved a motion to shorten each WIAA season to seven weeks in length, while extending the open coaching period to Jan. 23 — though practice for indoor sports is prohibited per Gov. Jay Inslee’s new guidelines.
Practices for traditional winter sports: basketball, bowling, boys swim and dive, wrestling and gymnastics are now scheduled to begin at the start of February and end with a regional event on March 20. Fall sports begin March 15 (March 8 for football) and end on May 1 and spring sports begin April 26 and conclude on June 12.
During a meeting on Nov. 2, the executive board determined that for a season to take place, 50% of schools in a WIAA region (by classification) must be eligible to participate in league games per the COVID-19 metrics.
Those metrics hold that moderate-risk sports (bowling, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball) can’t have competitions or league games until the new-case rate in the county sits between 25-75 per 100,000 over a 14-day period. And high-risk sports (football, basketball, wrestling) can’t have games until the new-case rate sinks below 25 per 100,000. Chelan County currently has a rate of 661.9 per 100,000 over the last two weeks, and Douglas County is at 580.3.