After about four hours of discussion during a Tuesday night meeting, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board didn’t come to a decision on the Feb. 1 start day for high school sports.
The board will meet again Jan. 4, WIAA executive director Mick Hoffman said in a Zoom call with the Washington State Secondary Athletic Administrators Association on Wednesday.
“A lot of the discussion was, ‘What do we do if Feb. 1 becomes a no-go date for some (or) all of our planned activities?’ So that conversation is going to continue,” Hoffman said. “… So right now the schedule is as is. We’re going to meet on Jan. 4 to review data across the state, understanding we likely won’t see a huge change in the number of cases. But we’re hoping that, as conversations are continuing in Olympia, we may see some changes in the metrics that cause the decisions on what can and can’t be played.”
Jan. 4, 11 and 18 will serve as the three checkpoint dates for the WIAA to update the status of a return to play. The Jan. 18 date serves as the regional-confirmation checkpoint, which will decide whether a sport, by region, moves forward with its season as scheduled.
Hoffman added that the WIAA has developed a form that will allow districts or leagues to move sports from the dates the association finalizes. This would allow leagues or districts to move a sport’s start date by a few weeks or even to another season. It would also present leagues the chance to play a league-only schedule and forgo any regional culminating event.
“We really can’t think of any reasons we would deny (a request),” Hoffman said. “I’m sure there will be some creativity that will challenge that thinking.”
The association also set forth plans for regional culminating events for Season 2 (traditional winter) sports:
— Basketball: Four-team regional.
— Boys swim and dive: 12 or 18 entries, dependent on facility size.
— Girls bowling: Four-team regional and eight-person individual competition.
— Gymnastics: Hybrid district tournament.
— Wrestling: Eight competitors per weight class.
District 1, which encompasses all but two of Snohomish County schools, is a member of Region A with District 2.