RENTON — At a meeting earlier this month, the WIAA Executive Board drafted guidelines for the anticipated reopening of schools and activities for the upcoming school year.
These guiding principles, which were set by answering a series of questions that were crafted by the National Federation of High School, “will provide the framework for future planning of the Executive Board, WIAA staff and member schools,” the WIAA said in a statement.
WIAA staff has begun work to establish return-to-play guidelines on a sport-by-sport basis, beginning with the upcoming fall sports season. Committees of coaches, administrators, referees, health officials and students have been formed by the WIAA for each of the fall sports. These committees will evaluate and recommend modifications to existing rules in their respective sport.
In its guiding principles, the Executive Board said that the WIAA intends to conduct a regular season and/or championships beginning this fall, assuming the state Department of Health supports the recommendation, and even though some schools, particularly large and urban schools, may only have distance learning.
“Although not ideal, the WIAA intends to conduct a regular season and/or championships even if all schools are not able to participate,” the Executive Board said.
The Executive Board also signaled that it will prioritize modified season options, as well as set deadlines for when a decision regarding whether to move forward with a sports season must be made. These principles, the board says, aligns with the primary mission of the WIAA to provide activities that are grounded in education.
“Participation in extracurricular sports and activities is a critical part of the high school experience and, sadly, that has never been more evident than when those opportunities were taken away this spring by COVID-19,” the WIAA said.