Players run through drills during the first week of practice in August, 2019. The WIAA’s new sports calender places football in Season 3, which wouldn’t happen until at least March 1.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced changes to the 2020-21 sports calendar on July 21.

Earlier that afternoon, the WIAA Executive Board held a meeting in which they decided to move forward with a four season calendar.

The current proposed layout for each season are as follows:

• Season 1 (Sept. 7 - Nov. 8): Cross Country, Slowpitch Softball, Girls Swim & Dive, Golf (alternative season), Tennis (alternative season)

• Season 2 (Jan. 4 - March 7): Basketball, Bowling, Boys Swim & Dive, Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Wrestling

• Season 3 (March 1 - May 2): Volleyball, Girls Soccer, 1B/2B Boys Soccer, Football

• Season 4 (April 26 - June 27): Tennis, Fastpitch Softball, Track & Field, Baseball, Golf, Boys Soccer, Dance/Drill

In order for Season 1 to be offered, certain benchmarks will need to be met, according to a WIAA press release. This criteria will be determined by the WIAA Executive Board on July 28. Should criteria not be met, Season 1 sports will be moved to Season 3.

Girls swim & dive as an indoor sport, still needs to be confirmed with the department of Health that it will be possible during Season 1.

The four season calendar will allow some athletes to be four sport athletes, but it might also force some to choose between sports in a season that they normally would not have.

Casey Johnson, Information Director for the WIAA, held a press conference later that evening and said that the goal of the meeting was to be open, honest and transparent.

“First and foremost, we absolutely want to provide opportunity for our students. We understand how incredibly important education-based athletics and activities are,” said Mick Hoffman, WIAA Executive Director.

Hoffman talked about the route the board took to come to this decision. In June, the board came up with three plans. The first plan was to start in August as scheduled, the second was to start in September and the third was to start all sports and activities in January. The board currently is moving ahead with the second plan to start athletics the week of Sept. 7, but is a fluid situation and may change at any time.

Greg Whitmore, Board President and Athletic Director for Lind-Ritzville High School, said that this new calendar might involve some rule changes and that everyone will need to be flexible in order to make it work.

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