Jackson swimmers cheer on teammates during a meet against Kamiak on Oct. 24, 2019, at WEST Coast Aquatics in Mill Creek. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jackson swimmers cheer on teammates during a meet against Kamiak on Oct. 24, 2019, at WEST Coast Aquatics in Mill Creek. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

WIAA gives option to delay start of sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced a handful of revisions to its plan for prep sports during the upcoming school year, including an option for schools to wait to begin competition until Season 2.

The announcement, which was delivered late Tuesday evening, came after continued feedback the organization has received since its initial announcement of a four-season plan on July 21.

The changes also include altered dates to the start of football practice, the movement of the girls swim & dive season and the addition of two weeks to the proposed Season 2, which includes boys and girls basketball and wrestling.

Under the new revisions, all sports offered in Season 1 — cross country, tennis, golf and slowpitch softball — are listed as alternative seasons.

Alternative seasons give schools the option to compete in a regular season prior to the season the WIAA offers that sport’s state championship. The WIAA traditionally offers alternative seasons for golf and tennis in the fall before state championships at the end of spring. Traditionally, schools in Snohomish County have competed in the alternative season for boys tennis.

State championships for cross country and slowpitch softball will be held in Season 3, which is scheduled for March 1 through May 2.

Tennis and golf state tournaments will be held in Season 4, which is April 26 through June 27.

High school football practices, originally scheduled to begin Feb. 22, will now begin Feb. 17. The decision stems from the increased number of practices required for football players to participate in games.

Girls swim and dive was officially moved to Season 3. Original plans had the sport as a possibility for Season 1, pending guidance from the State Department of Health.

The WIAA also announced that Season 2 will now begin Dec. 28 and end Feb 28.

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