WIAA announces delay to start of fall sports practices
Last updated 7/10/2020 at 11:35am
Lincoln County farmers with sons who play football will have a bit more help available in preparing for harvest in August. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced Tuesday, July 7 that the start of fall sports practices will be delayed to Sept. 5 for football and Labor Day, Sept. 7 for all other fall sports.
"The (Executive) Board will continue to work with staff, member schools and state agencies to monitor the impact of COVID-19," the WIAA said in a release.
Because teams are required to practice for at least two weeks and hold 10 practices in that time span before beginning competition, this ruling pushes the start of football games, cross country meets and other fall sports games back to a minimum of Sept. 19. Game schedules will have to be revamped.
Boy's golf is the lone exception, as there is no practice time requirement before competition can begin.
The minimum two-week season delay means re-evaluation of opening games. Davenport football had a road game at Colfax and home game against Lind-Ritzville/Sprague scheduled for its first two games. Reardan football was set for two home games against Northwest Christian and Medical Lake.
The fall sports situation continues to be fluid and unknown. The WIAA promised that another statement would be coming after its July 22 meeting.
"In the interim, a committee of Board members, staff, and select WIAA stakeholders will work to create a fall schedule with the adjusted start dates," the WIAA's release said.
Tuesday's ruling doesn't override the WIAA's previous guidelines stating that sports can only start in accordance with Gov. Inslee's four-phase state re-opening plan.
Since the state put a halt on counties advancing to Phase 4 for the time being as COVID-19 cases rise more rapidly, Lincoln County remains in Phase 3. If the county is still in Phase 3 when fall sports are set to begin, only "lower risk" sporting competitions can resume, including golf, swimming and staggered start cross country, according to recently released WIAA guidelines. The halt on advancing in phases will be re-evaluated by the governor and Department of Health after two weeks.
If Lincoln County moves to Phase 4 by fall, seasonal sports such as volleyball, softball, soccer and basketball can resume. There's no set-in-stone guideline yet on when football can resume, according to WIAA phase re-opening guidelines. Football is considered "high-risk" for COVID-19 transmission.