On October 6, state officials released changes in Covid-19 guidance and restrictions that also expand guidance on youth team sports and adult team sports.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, the rule making body for high school sports in the state, also released a revised guideline based on the state updates.
A spokesperson for WIAA said the plan for now is to stay with the modified season that was outlined earlier this year, but the Executive Board will meet to evaluate all other options under the new guidelines.
What we do know is sports are now divided into these risk categories.
Low risk sports: tennis, swimming, pickleball, golf, cross country, track and field, sideline/no-contact cheer and dance, disc golf.
Moderate risk sports: softball, baseball, t-ball, soccer, futsal, volleyball, lacrosse, flag football, ultimate frisbee, ice hockey, cricket, gymnastics, crew, field hockey, school bowling competitions.
High risk sports: football, rugby, wrestling, cheerleading with contact, dance with contact, basketball, water polo, martial arts competitions, roller derby.
Each sports category must then follow a set of restrictions that are based on the number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people on a 14 day rolling average, and the percentage of positive tests. Click Here for a link on the exact break down.
Madeline Schumacher, 16, is a junior at Sehome High School in Bellingham and is remaining optimistic about the upcoming basketball season.
“I think we will have a season. I hope we will,” said Schumacher. “I hope everyone outside of playing basketball in your daily life are taking precautions to be safe, to help us.”
Her mom Tina Schumacher is looking at the updated guidelines with a pragmatic view.
“I’m really kind of sad. It’s just been disappointing and to have that happen is really sad,” said Schumacher who explained basketball used to be a moderate risk sport.
In order for league games to be played for high risk sports, there must be 25 or fewer cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people on a two week average which Schumacher said, “that metric is almost impossible to achieve, it’s like it’s set up for failure.”
Meanwhile, in Snohomish County Head Football Coach John Gradwohl of Edmonds-Woodway High School said, “I’m just waiting for that date. When I get a date I might jump around the house a little bit. I’m optimistically excited. I think we’re trying to get everything prepared so that when we do get the go ahead, we’re ready.”
Coach Gradwohl said he’s encouraging the community to keep up mask wearing and due diligence to prevent the spread of Covid-19 because that will ultimately dictate the return to sports.