State championships dependent on students' timely return
Last updated 3/26/2020 at 9:11am
The prep spring sports state championships, scheduled for May 27-30 at various sites across Washington, could go on as scheduled, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced last week.
The major caveat, however, is that the championships likely would only take place if students are back in school after April 24, the final day of Gov. Jay Inslee’s six-week order closing all public and private schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video posted to the WIAA website, executive director Mick Hoffman said, “If we are able to return to school after April 24, we will host our state championships as scheduled. If that date gets pushed longer, we will provide updates depending on what we are hearing at that time.”
The state dance and drill championships have been postponed until further notice. The championships were scheduled March 27-29 at the Yakima SunDome.
Spring sports include baseball, softball, boys soccer, tennis, track and field, and golf. Practices began March 2 and the postseason for the various sports start in early to mid-May.
The WIAA noted that no championships will be held after May 30 to avoid conflicts with graduation.
“We know that athletics and activities are incredibly important, not just to our kids and the adults coaching and leading them, but also to our communities,” Hoffman said. “However, even more important is the health and safety of each and every individual.”
Hoffman also urged coaches and athletic directors to follow the governor’s directive on gatherings and not to encourage or ignore students getting together for practices.
“We understand they want to be together,” Hoffman said. “We understand they want to be ready if given the opportunity. But again, not at the jeopardizing of people’s health and safety.”
Hoffman added that the community is finding out that people can be contagious before they show symptoms, and that younger and younger individuals are contracting the coronavirus.
“So for the benefit of everybody and to speed up the recovery process for the entire state, please follow the directives and show leadership that directs your students not to get together to do this,” Hoffman urged.
Athletes must have a minimum of 10 practices to compete, but a blanket waiver to WIAA practices restrictions would allow student-athletes to achieve 10 practices within five days.
How teams and athletes would qualify for state would be left up to league and district officials. The WIAA did recommend that leagues extend the regular season through the end of the state championships, May 30, for schools that did not qualify for state.