When the Puget Sound Region finally met the criteria for moving to Phase II of the Healthy Washington-Road Map to Recovery, not only could a person finally go and sit down at a restaurant, it signaled a return to practice and games for local high school and professional sports teams. It will have been a long 12 months since the state basketball champions were crowned on March 7th, all activities were cancelled the following Monday.
With the state’s guidance, the Athletic Directors of the Western Conference finalized plans for three sports seasons; beginning with traditional fall sports practice on February 22nd. Those sports are football, girls soccer, cross country, boys tennis, volleyball and girls swim & dive. Games are slated for the first week in March for a brief, five-game season. With no playoffs and no fans attending the games and meets. Only 200 people will be allowed at a game-site, including the teams, coaches and officials.
The WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) is the state’s high school sports governing body; it decided previously that there would be no state championships in any sports this season. A league or district has the discretion to hold a culminating event, although the Wesco has decided it will not.
Spring Sports (baseball, softball, track & field, girls tennis and boys soccer) will begin practice on March 29th and begin play on April 5th, also for 5 weeks of competition. The traditional winter sports (basketball; wrestling and boys swim & dive) will play in season three; practice on May 3rd, games on May 10th.
A couple of additional notes: If the Covid metrics decline, and only one season will be allowed, spring sports will get the nod, since their season was completely wiped out last year…Unlike the NFL, MLB, NHL and college sports, there are no plans to administer Covid tests to athletes at the high school level (the logistics and cost would be overwhelming), therefore athletes will have to attest that they are not experiencing any virus symptoms…
We will have all the latest information on Prep Sports Weekly with Tom Lafferty and Steve Willits; every Thursday at 7 pm on KRKO Everett’s Greatest Hits. The show is also available as a podcast.
SILVERTIPS & AQUASOX
After the start of the Everett Silvertips Hockey season was delayed five times, the US Division of the Western Hockey League is now set to begin play in mid-March. Plans are for a 24-game season, only against teams within the division: Spokane, Tri City, Seattle and Portland (the Winterhawks will move to Vancouver WA to play the season so all teams will be in Washington’s jurisdiction). No fans will be allowed in Angel of the Winds Arena for Silvertips home games; and since no travel is allowed between the US and Canada, there will be no post-season.
Baseball’s revamped Northwest League is formulating plans for a resumption of play as well. Planning is underway for a season to begin in early May and ending in mid-September. Like the WHL, the Everett AquaSox are expecting that there will be no fans in the stands at home games; at least to start. Boise and Salem-Keizer are no longer in the NWL, and plans are still up in the air regarding where the Vancouver Canadians will play (again, no travel between the US and Canada).
Hang on. It could be a bumpy ride!