Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fall sports’

Cross country will join other traditional fall sports in moving to March during the 2020-2021 school year as Coupeville deals with COVID-19. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Don’t call it a cancellation, just a postponement.

Coupeville High School won’t field any athletic teams this fall, but, unlike last spring, it’s not a permanent erasure.

Hopefully.

As the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has shuffled the athletic schedule for the 2020-2021 school year.

This time around, the plan is for four seasons, instead of the normal three.

But, at the same time, the WIAA made things flexible, allowing several “moderate risk” fall sports to be played in either Season 1 or Season 3.

For CHS, that’s cross country and boys tennis, and Wolf Athletic Director Willie Smith confirmed Friday he’s joining next-door neighbor South Whidbey in opting for the latter of the two choices.

“Obviously, we really want to get our kids and coaches going as we know how important physical activities can be, as well as the importance of building school culture that athletics can bring to our school,” Smith said.

“But, during these times, there are so many extraneous factors that continue to come into play: safety, phases of other schools/counties, opponent availability, etc. that our league and ourselves have made the decision that this is the best opportunity to get our student-athletes in the best possible scenario to get to have a season(s).

“We are hopeful and will continue to work towards workable solutions to provide our students with the most positive and successful experience we can but need to remind everyone that flexibility is going to have to be at the forefront of this school year.”

The plan now is for basketball to open the athletic year, with the first practices set for the final week of December, and games starting in January.

With seasons compressed, all sports will be allowed to play up to 70% of a normal regular-season schedule.

Playoffs and championship events are to be determined.

The proposed lineup:

 

Season 1:

No athletics offered at CHS

 

Season 2:

Boys/Girls Basketball

Practice starts: Dec. 28
Competition starts: Jan. 4
Postseason: Feb. 22-28
**Phase 4 for games**

 

Season 3:

Boys/Girls Soccer

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Boys Tennis

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: June 21-27
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Competitive Cheer

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for competitions**

 

Cross Country

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: April 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for meets**

 

Football

Practice starts: Feb. 17
Competition starts: Mar. 5
Postseason: Apr. 19-May 19
**Phase 4 for games**

 

Volleyball

Practice starts: Feb. 22
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Season 4:

Baseball

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Girls Tennis

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Softball

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Track and Field

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for meets**

 

Middle school sports also shut down:

In a normal year, Coupeville Middle School opens with volleyball and boys soccer, then goes to girls and boys basketball, before finishing with track and field.

That will be upended this school year, but nothing official has been decided yet.

“We are waiting for directions from WIAA and our District 1 team,” Smith said. “There is a committee looking at options but nothing has been decided other than no middle school sports until at least late December just like high school.”

Read Full Post »

Under current WIAA guidelines, Wolf basketball players like Hawthorne Wolfe will start practices Dec. 28. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The tinkering continues in the age of coronavirus.

After meeting Tuesday, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board announced several tweaks to its plan for a four-season sports campaign during the 2020-21 school year.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, a county has to be in Phase 3 of Governor Jay Inslee’s reopening plan to start competition in September.

But while Island County is one of the few to have reached that status, that might not be enough for Coupeville High School.

All of the Wolves new foes in the Northwest 2B/1B League are in counties currently mired in Phase 2, and a freeze on counties applying to move to the next phase has been extended “indefinitely.”

CHS also plays boys tennis in the recently renamed Emerald Sound Conference.

Every opponent there, with the exception of South Whidbey, is a ritzy private school camped out in Phase 2 King County.

Also, most large school districts, including those in the Seattle area, have made public commitments in the past week to opening the new school year 100% online.

Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King has set August 7 to make a decision on online vs. in-person vs. a hybrid education plan.

There has been no definitive statement on whether schools using only online teaching will allow students to compete in athletics.

While the WIAA did not issue plans Tuesday for how many schools need to be active for prep sports to start in September, it did do the following:

 

**Cross country and tennis are officially approved for play in Season 1, with postseason events set to happen at the end of Season 3 and 4, respectively.

Schools and leagues can opt to play Season 1 sports later, however.

If moved, cross country goes to Season 3, while tennis jumps to Season 4.

 

**Competitive cheer has been moved from Season 2 to Season 3.

 

**The start of football practice is moved to Feb. 17.

Gridiron players are required to have more practices than other sports, and this would allow the sport to begin playing games the same week as other Season 3 sports.

 

**Season 2 will begin and end one week earlier than originally planned, to better avoid overlap of students participating in both Seasons 2 and 3.

Basketball practices now start Dec. 28.

 

**The out-of-season period has been adjusted for sports not part of Season 1.

Coaching is not allowed between Aug. 17-Sept. 27, but teams can practice between Sept. 28-Nov. 30.

Football teams can have 20 days of contact practices during this time.

 

**Schools will be allowed to schedule 70% of typical allowable contests for all sports during the 2020-2021 school year.

Baseball (was 20 games, now 14)
Basketball (20 to 14)
Cross Country (10 to 7)
Football (10 to 7)
Soccer (16 to 11)
Softball (20 to 14)
Tennis (16 to 11)
Track and Field (10 to 7)
Volleyball (16 to 11)

 

**The plan (as of July 29):

 

Season 1:

Cross Country

Practice starts: Sept. 7
Competition starts: Sept. 14
Postseason: April 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for meets**

 

Boys Tennis

Practice starts: Sept. 7
Competition starts: Sept. 14
Postseason: June 21-27
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Season 2:

Boys/Girls Basketball

Practice starts: Dec. 28
Competition starts: Jan. 4
Postseason: Feb. 22-28
**Phase 4 for games**

 

Season 3:

Boys/Girls Soccer

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Competitive Cheer

Practice starts: Mar. 1
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for competitions**

 

Football

Practice starts: Feb. 17
Competition starts: Mar. 5
Postseason: Apr. 19-May 19
**Phase 4 for games**

 

Volleyball

Practice starts: Feb. 22
Competition starts: Mar. 8
Postseason: Apr. 26-May 1
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Season 4:

Baseball

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Girls Tennis

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for matches**

 

Softball

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for games (with masks) or Phase 4 (no masks)**

 

Track and Field

Practice starts: Apr. 26
Competition starts: May 3
Postseason: June 21-26
**Phase 3 for meets**

 

PS — It appears the WIAA has recently adjusted what phase a county needs to be in for certain sports to be played.

Soccer, volleyball, baseball, competitive cheer, and softball are now in Phase 3, while they were previously listed under Phase 4, though three of those sports — all outdoor ones — will require masks if played in Phase 3.

Why are volleyball and cheer, which are held indoors and involve athlete contact and close-quarters breathing, exempt from masks?

You got me.

Read Full Post »

If Ben Smith and other Wolves get to play this fall, their season will start later than normal. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Fall prep sports, if they happen in 2020, will begin later than in most previous years.

As the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board met Tuesday and made that decision.

The board opted to push the start of the high school football season until Saturday, September 5, and the start of practices for all other fall sports until Monday, Sept. 7.

The original start dates were August 19 and 24, respectively.

Coupeville’s first football game, from a schedule put together before the pandemic seized the stage, was originally to be a home game Sept. 4 against Port Townsend.

Now, in a best-case scenario, practices would begin the next day instead, with games not starting until mid to late September.

Football players need to put in 12 practices to be eligible for games, while all other athletes need 10 prior to their first contest.

But this is where a big “BUT…” comes in.

Under current WIAA guidelines, the only sports which can compete in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan are “low risk” activities such as tennis and cross country.

To play “moderate risk” sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball, a school will have to be in a county in Phase 4 of the four-phase plan, while the WIAA has yet to set a time frame for “high risk” sports (football and wrestling) to start competition.

Island County is currently in Phase 3, but positive cases of COVID-19 have increased in recent weeks.

Also, Washington state officials have frozen the ability for any county to move up a phase, and no county can currently apply for Phase 4.

So, while Tuesday’s announcement is a glimmer of hope, it is only that – a glimmer.

In a press release Tuesday night, the WIAA said the following:

The Board will continue to work with staff, member schools and state agencies to monitor the impact of COVID-19.

The Board plans to make its next statement concerning the start of fall sports on July 22nd following its next scheduled meeting.

In the interim, a committee of Board members, staff, and select WIAA stakeholders will work to create a fall schedule with the adjusted start dates.

Read Full Post »

If school sports return this fall, team water bottles will not. (David Stern photo)

No players sitting on benches.

No handshakes or fist bumps, before, during, or after games.

No endless soccer introductions with each player, starter or reserve, running out onto the field.

Some schools needing to use multiple buses to transport teams to games, with athletes and coaches spaced out between seats, wearing face masks, with bus windows open.

And that’s the positive version of where prep sports in Washington state could be this fall.

In the negative version, there simply are no games played whatsoever, a remix of what happened this spring as the world deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While Island County recently entered Phase 3 of Governor Jay Inslee’s four-part plan to reopen the state, Washington is one of 23 states currently experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases.

The hardest-hit area in our state is Yakima County, which is home to many prep sports state championship events.

As it looks ahead to late August/early September, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has stated it “intends to conduct all scheduled fall athletics/activities that are approved by the Department of Health.”

That includes operating at less than full capacity, if need be.

“Although not ideal, the WIAA intends to conduct a regular season and/or championships even if all schools are not able to participate,” the governing group said in an earlier release.

But then, we jump to today, and the WIAA issued its most-detailed guidelines yet for how state schools, public and private, should handle spring and summer practices, and competitions, if they return in the fall.

Included is the statement “when a school, schools, or district are closed due to COVID-19, all training, practice, and contests for the school(s) or district should also be canceled.”

These new guidelines cover a general approach, as well as offer specific advice for all but one of the fall sports normally played by Coupeville athletes.

Football, volleyball, cross country, soccer, and cheer are represented, but no individual guidelines were issued for tennis.

Also included are guidelines for swim/dive, dance/drill, and slowpitch softball, which some schools traditionally play in the fall.

CHS plays fastpitch softball, which operates in the spring.

Instead of writing 10,000 words about the guidelines, I’ll offer you links for ones which affect Coupeville, so you can pick and choose what you want to investigate.

As you do, keep in mind, everything is in flux, and no one knows where we will be in 2-3 months time.

That point is driven home by the WIAA not including the answer to one major question in Monday’s guidelines — when will “high risk” sports be allowed to play games?

“Lower risk” sports such as cross country can resume competitions in Phase 3, and “moderate risk” sports such as basketball and volleyball can play in Phase 4.

But “high risk” sports, those which “involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants,” have no start date yet for games.

That covers football, wrestling, and competitive cheer.

The website SB Live Washington quoted WIAA spokesperson Casey Johnson in its report.

“We’re still waiting for some more information,” Johnson said. “Right now, obviously no counties are in phase four. It’s one of those things specifically that we’re going to wait and see how things develop before addressing.”

 

Fall Guidelines Overview:

Click to access COVID19Guidance.pdf

 

Cheer:

Click to access Cheerleading.pdf

 

Cross Country:

Click to access CrossCountry.pdf

 

Football:

Click to access Football.pdf

 

Soccer:

Click to access Soccer.pdf

 

Volleyball:

Click to access Volleyball.pdf

Read Full Post »

Will fall sports happen in Washington state schools? No one knows for sure. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

As Washington state deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal said Thursday he expects “school districts to reopen buildings and return to in-person learning next school year, as long as public health guidelines allow them to do so.”

That plan, the most optimistic of options offered, would still include all students wearing face coverings.

Also, desks will be spaced six feet apart, students may attend class in gyms or lunch rooms, and schools will have to screen students and staff for coronavirus symptoms before they enter school buildings.

Just as likely, students will be sent back to on-line, or some combination of on-line and in-person learning, especially in areas where there are substantial spikes of the coronavirus.

New, positive cases of the virus are up 20% statewide since Memorial Day, as cities reopen from the initial shutdown.

While Island County has seen no new reported cases in weeks, Eastern Washington is a completely different case.

Yakima County has a 61% increase in positive cases since Memorial Day, while Spokane (49%), Benton (39%), and Clark (39%) are also substantially up.

No official decision has been made on whether schools will return to sports competition in the fall, but it seems increasingly likely there may not be one plan used for the entire state.

Instead, each district, and the leagues and schools inside that district, may operate on their own.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, which governs public and private school sports in the state, is working on creating return-to-play guidelines on a sport-by-sport basis.

In a statement released after its June 7 meeting, the WIAA Executive Board said, “As we navigate return-to-play, schools in different regions of the state will inevitably be operating under circumstances and safety protocols unique to their area.

“The Executive Board determined that the primary mission of the WIAA is to provide opportunities in education-based athletics and activities.

“Participation in extracurricular sports and activities is a critical part of the high school experience and, sadly, that has never been more evident than when those opportunities were taken away this spring by COVID-19.

“The WIAA Executive Board and staff recognize that participation will need to take place in a setting that does not jeopardize the health and well-being of students or their communities, which is why we will continue to think creatively as an organization while also working with health officials at the state level.

“We encourage each district and league to work together to answer these questions at the local level as well. While WIAA staff will be available to support member schools in any way we can, each league has the autonomy to develop policies and contingency plans that represent their communities.”

Four questions answered in the statement:

 

**Will the WIAA conduct an athletics/activities regular season or championship if schools statewide are closed to in-person learning (apart from regularly scheduled school breaks)?

Though many large schools and urban schools may only have distance learning, the WIAA intends to conduct a regular season and/or championships assuming the Department of Health supports the recommendation.

At this time, the WIAA plans to begin the fall season as scheduled but is also examining a delayed start of September 7, 2020 (September 5 for football) as its primary contingency option.

 

**Will the WIAA conduct an athletics/activities regular season or championship if schools are closed only in COVID-19 “hotspots” in Washington (excluding participants from schools that are closed)?

Although not ideal, the WIAA intends to conduct a regular season and/or championships even if all schools are not able to participate.

 

**Will the WIAA conduct an athletics/activities regular season in sports deemed “lower-risk” for COVID-19 transmission while cancelling athletics/activities considered “higher-risk?”

The WIAA intends to conduct all scheduled fall athletics/activities that are approved by the DOH.

 

**Are there recommendations unique to Washington that we need to take into consideration when developing our 2020-2021 plans? This could include modified seasons, modified rules, etc.

The WIAA intends to commence sport/activity-specific work groups to recommend and evaluate modifications to rules. It is also recommended the Executive Board prioritize modified season options and determine decision deadlines.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »