7/7/2020 (Updated 7/8/2020)
We’ve updated this story with an interview of the WIAA Executive Board President Greg Whitmore. Whitmore is also the Athletic Director for Lind-Ritzville High School.
Greg Whitmore WIAA Executive Board President updates Fall Sports
(Renton, WA) The WIAA Executive Board met today and made one move toward trying to finalize Fall sports and the first move was to push back the start of the season. Football was supposed to start on August 19 but now won’t start until September 5 with all other sports beginning September 7.
The football date is exceptionally tentative especially since the State Health Department and Governor’s office have not yet approved any phase that football could be played including phase 4 of the Governor’s re-opening plan. WIAA staff continue to work with state officials on what conditions football could take place.
The Board also stated they expect to announce more information about Fall sports after their next meeting on July 21. WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman had told us in previous interviews that everything remains on the table as far as sports this coming year. He said when the board meets on July 21 the goal will be to release their intended Fall schedule but understand that it is only their intended and that they will adjust with the conditions as they play out.
The other Fall sports include Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Girls Swimming and Diving along with Golf and Tennis. The sports that have the best chance of being conducted this Fall are Golf, Tennis and Cross Country. These sports can socially distance with golf maybe reducing to pairs teeing off, tennis maybe only singles and cross country can be run with a staggered start keeping competitors far enough apart.
The WIAA press release says they will begin to work on a new schedule with the new start dates prior to the July 21 meeting. Hoffman says we will continue to prep and plan for all potential scenarios and as we work our way through the summer we will make decisions as quickly and as prudently as possible. Hoffman understands the frustration of not knowing and assures everyone that is frustrated he and his staf are as equally. He says frankly, we have to hurry up and wait and see where we are in 2 weeks and then very likely another 2 weeks.
Hoffman says the WIAA’s goal is to not to waste any opportunity to compete but how it will all look like in the end is still up in the air.
The WIAA updated Statement 7/8/20
The WIAA Executive Board took action on July 7th, 2020 to push back the start date for fall sports. The action was taken in an attempt to relieve pressure on member schools as they prepare for the opening of schools to in-person and/or online learning. The current dates to commence fall sports practices are September 5th for football and September 7th for all other sports. These starting dates (Saturday and Monday of Labor Day weekend) allow for contests to begin as early as September 18th.
On July 21st, the Executive Board will review other options for fall sports should further delays become necessary, with an announcement to be made on July 22nd. In the interim, a planning committee made up of Executive Board members, WIAA staff, and representatives from WIAA member schools will review possible options and make recommendations.
The Executive Board recognizes this recent action creates many questions, and it will work to provide answers on July 22nd. In the interim, we suggest schools avoid any rescheduling of games in Arbiter until a decision is made on how the delayed start impacts the fall season.