BREAKING: WIAA Announces New Guidelines for Return to Athletics and Activities

Brandon Brown

Developing Story

The State Department of Health have updated their guidelines on how to re-start High School sports. One of the biggest changes in this new update is the moving of basketball into the ‘High-Risk’ category. Previously basketball was in the ‘moderate-risk’ group, making the sports return a little bit easier based on the guidelines listed above. There will be a push to get the sport back into the moderate grouping so that they can start in the upcoming winter season. We are continuing to work this story and as we get significant updates we pass those on. Here is the release from the WIAA.

RENTON, Wash. (Oct. 6, 2020)

The WIAA has announced their new guidelines for return to athletics and activities. The WIAA has used this guidance from the Department of Health to develop new general, as well as sport-specific, return-to-play guidelines which will replace those previously tied to phasing in the Governor’s Safe Start Plan. The Governor’s office has informed the WIAA that these guidelines must be followed and neither schools nor community sports programs have the authority to implement more lenient policies.

The guidelines for when and how sports and activities can get back to practices and games is listed below:

HIGH >75 cases/100K/14 days OR >5% positivity
• Team practices and/or training can resume for low, medium, and high-risk sports if players are limited to groups of six in separate parts of the field/court and separated by a buffer zone. Brief, close contact (e.g. 3-on-3 drills) is permitted. It is preferable for the groups of six to be stable over time. Attendance rosters should include group contact information. Each league, organization, or club must publish and follow a “return to play” safety plan. Any practice or training activities that can be done outdoors should be done outdoors.

• Scrimmage, intra-team competitions, and league games or competition allowed for low-risk sports, but are discouraged if the school is not conducting some in-person learning.
• No tournaments allowed.
• No spectators allowed except for one parent/guardian/caregiver for each student-participant in uniform. Spectators must maintain a physical distance of at least six (6) feet between each person.

MODERATE >25-75 cases/100K/14 days AND <5% positivity 
• Scrimmage, intra-team competitions, and league games allowed for both low and moderate-risk sporting activities. Scrimmage, intra-team competitions allowed for high-risk sporting activities.
• No tournaments allowed.
• No spectators allowed except for one adult parent/guardian/caregiver for each student-participant in uniform. Spectators must maintain physical distance of at least six (6) feet between each person.

LOW <25 cases/100K/14 days AND <5% positivity 
• Scrimmage, intra-team competitions, and league games allowed for low, moderate, and high-risk sporting activities.
• Tournaments allowed.
• Spectators to follow gathering size limit of the Safe Start Plan.

A prohibition on tournaments for sporting activities does not include postseason, playoff, regional or state championship competitions sanctioned by a statewide interscholastic activities administrative and rule-making body that oversees competition in all counties in the state.

Each WIAA sport is classified into low, moderate and high risk categories as follows:

LOW-RISK SPORTING ACTIVITIES: 
• Cross Country
• Golf
• Sideline/no-contact cheerleading and dance
• Swimming and Diving
• Tennis
• Track and Field

MODERATE-RISK SPORTING ACTIVITIES:
• Baseball

• Bowling
• Gymnastics
• Soccer
• Softball
• Volleyball

HIGH-RISK SPORTING ACTIVITIES:
• Basketball

• Cheerleading with contact
• Dance with contact
• Football
• Wrestling

 

 

Elisportsnetwork.com

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