Will B-F County Phases ‘Doom’ Fall HS Sports?
With Richland deciding to start the school year online, we made some calls to various Athletic Directors around the Mid Columbia Conference and other area schools in B-F Counties. We wanted to find out how this, and potential online at other schools, would affect sports, marching band, and other after school activities.
The WIAA (Washington State Interscholastic Activities Association) July 21st. announced football, volleyball and girls soccer would be moved to spring, as part of a new Four Season approach. Less 'contact' sports such as golf, tennis, cross county, girls swimming and diving would begin Sept. 7 (practices).
However, in our discussions, we've learned (and from the WIAA) that this new schedule also depends upon a counties' Phase. According to the Seattle Times from July 21st (verbatim):
“When you look at the dates, those are definitely written in pencil,” WIAA executive director Mick Hoffman said in a Zoom call with media members.
For the 2020-21 school year, cross country, slowpitch softball, girls swimming and diving and golf and tennis (for leagues that don’t hold those sports in the spring) will be in the fall, or Season 1, which runs from Sept. 7 until Nov. 8.
The fall season is especially tentative. Hoffman pointed out that counties have to be in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan for low-risk sports such as cross country, and Phase 4 for moderate-risk sports such as volleyball and soccer."
Ty Beaver, the Communications Director for Richland Schools, sent us this email Wednesday morning. We had reached out asking what online school will do to sports and activities such as marching band:
"...When it comes to athletics and activities, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) recently announced that all fall sports our high schools participate in will move to an early spring season instead of competing this fall. Activities such as marching band are also governed by WIAA and their current guidance ties resumption of activities to the governor’s Safe Start plan."
We spoke with Kamiakin Athletic Director Casey Gant Wednesday as well. He said a lot will depend (in Kennewick) what happens at the School Board meeting Wednesday night. As of right now, cross country looks to be moved to spring, could be followed by girls swimming and diving. The 4 Season approach, especially in our area, is still very fluid.
Currently we are in Phase 1.5, and Gov. Inslee has "paused" all phase move ups indefinitely. It looks like perhaps golf and tennis might be the only HS sports this fall. We will know more by the end of the week, most likely.
Still a lot to be decided.