WIAA lays out process for commencing a sports season

q

The ever-evolving world of high school sports in Washington sprouted a new limb last week, as the WIAA once again provided additional guidance to the return to competition.

The high school sports governing body has laid out the process for the run up to the return of each sport’s season.

Of course, the entire exercise could be moot as COVID-19 cases spike in Western Washington. Kitsap County has a rate of 107.3 cases per 100,000 residents, putting all eight local high schools well outside the Department of Health guidelines for having any meaningful sports season.

In theory, the WIAA’s “Season 2” sports – basketball, bowling, swimming, gymnastics and wrestling – are set to begin practices Dec. 28.

The WIAA has split the state into three regions this year — Region “A” will be composed of Districts 1 and 2, and Region “B” will be home to Districts 3 and 4; all Kitsap County schools are part of District 3, except for Bainbridge, which is in District 2. If 50 percent of schools in a given region is not eligible to participate, the WIAA can plan to move the sport to another season.

The process for beginning a season is as follows:

A preliminary update four weeks prior to the upcoming season, in which there will be a list of schools that will be eligible to play that sport, based on DOH guidelines. Basketball and wrestling are classified high-risk, meaning competition may begin when there is a low risk of transmission (25 cases per 100,000 residents over the previous 14 days and less than a 5% positivity rate); gymnastics and bowling are moderate risk (25-75 cases and less than 5% positive); and swimming is a low risk sport, meaning it can begin at anytime.

A secondary update a little later reviews any newly eligible or ineligible schools to see if each region can move forward. Again, at least 50 percent of schools need to be eligible.

With two weeks remaining, each region will determine if it will participate in sports with enough eligible schools. Region directors can still choose not to participate and move the sport to another season. Once a season begins, the WIAA says it should continue without suspension of play.

It also looks likely, barring any vast improvement in the pandemic, that regional tournaments will take the place of state tournaments this year as the “culminating event.”

To participate, a region must have at least eight eligible schools in the sport and classification by the end of the fourth week of that season. Regions may choose to combine classifications to have that postseason event.

With the first preliminary update about two weeks away (Nov. 27), as it stands right now, only swimming and diving could proceed. Districts 3 and 4 cover a wide swath from the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas through southern King County and then southwestern counties all the way to the Oregon border.

It remains to be seen if there will be enough teams in the less-affected portions of Washington to have competition and ultimately, if each region decides to go through with it, or wait until spring.

More in Sports

Steve Powell
History not in the making for Gonzaga

One good thing about being old — I turn 64 Sunday —… Continue reading

Mark Krulish
Rebirth of spring sports rejuvenating

Spring is a time for rejuvenation and rebirth, an appropriate atmosphere for… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Alyssa Cullen (front) takes the baton from Genesi Funston in the 4x200 relay. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK’s Cullen wins 4 events at meet with Bainbridge, CK

Alyssa Cullen may have lost out on her junior year track season,… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Anna Wetzsteon drove in four runs in her team’s 9-1 victory over Bainbridge. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Hot bats, Stockman’s 16 K’s lead NK over Bainbridge

North Kitsap broke out the bats early in Friday afternoon’s game against… Continue reading

Mark Krulish
Emotions run the gamut at end of ‘fall’ season

A few weeks ago I wrote about expecting the unexpected in this… Continue reading

Bainbridge's Damoni Mckenna-Greenawalt and North Kitsap's Angel Chavez sprint for a loose ball. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge boys shut out North Kitsap in soccer

Bainbridge broke open a fast-paced, physical match with North Kitsap in the… Continue reading

Bainbridge’s JR Ritchie slides into third during the Spartans’ 2021 opener Tuesday against Kingston, a 20-0 route. (Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos)
BI armed with 4 Division 1 pitchers

It may not be quite the season they were hoping for, but… Continue reading

Chandler Lindstrom catches a 63-yard touchdown for Central Kitsap against Sequim. (Michael Dashiell/Sequim Gazette)
Week 5 Olympic League Football Roundup

Bainbridge 28, South Kitsap 14 PJ Miller’s 2-yard touchdown run in the… Continue reading

Contributed photos
Bainbridge High alum Zora Opalka hopes to become the first-diver ever to represent Slovakia at the Olympics. Below: Opalka practices one of her dives.
Olympics: BI diver hopes to make a splash for Slovakia

Once upon a time, Zora Opalka etched her name into the Bainbridge… Continue reading

Bainbridge running back Jack Mielke spins his way into the end zone in the Spartans’ 28-14 win over South Kitsap on Friday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bainbridge ends football season with romp over SK

Bainbridge legend Tom Paski and assistant coach John Fox once promised to… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Sydnee Hogan and Bainbridge’s Chloe Boeker (4) spar for a loose ball. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS seniors star in Senior Night PK win over NK

It was Senior Night at Bainbridge Memorial Stadium, so it was only… Continue reading

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News Group
Kingston's Kyler Coe-yarr pulls down an interception from a pass intended for Port Angeles' Cyras Mills in the closing moments of the first half on Saturday in Port Angeles.
Week 4 Olympic League Football Roundup

Central Kitsap 55, Bainbridge 26 The Cougars’ balanced offensive unit scored three… Continue reading