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WIAA fine-tunes plan for sports to be played in 2020-21

By Nathan Joyce Seattle Times high school sports coordinator, 07/31/20, 10:30AM PDT

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Ballard Beavers’ quarterback makes a pass during football practice at Ballard High School in Seattle on Oct. 28, 2019. (Andy Bao / The Seattle Times)

A week after the Washington Interscholastic Activites Association reorganized its sports calendar, it did some fine tuning.

Last week, the executive board turned the three-season academic year into four, shorter seasons and moved football to the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, the WIAA’s Executive Board announced a few changes to the plan in the wake of spiking coronavirus cases across the state.

• Winter sports, which are in “Season 2” of the WIAA’s new calendar will start a week earlier (practices begin Dec. 28), so there won’t be overlap with Season 3 (which is the new season that contains many of the normal fall sports, including football), which starts competition March 1.

• Football practice is scheduled to start Feb. 17, earlier than the other Season 3 sports, as football requires more practices before competition is allowed.

• Cross country and slowpitch softball, which are still scheduled for fall (Season 1), have been classific as “alternate seasons,” which means they can compete in Season 1 or Season 3. The state championships are moved to Season 3. This is similar to how golf and tennis are contested normally, with some leagues holding the sport in the fall and some in the spring, but the state championships are in the spring.

• Girls swimming, which was scheduled for Season 1, has been moved to Season 3.

• Since each season this year is shorter by about 30%, schools are capped at scheduling 70% of the contests they normally schedule, which means the 10-week football season will be seven weeks.

From sports-information reports.