EHS cross country

The Ellensburg girls cross country prepares for its 2A state race at Sun Willows Golf Course last year.

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The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association made adjustments to its sports schedule for the 2020-21 school year on Tuesday after establishing a four-season slate on July 21 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

And it seems Season 1 athletics won’t be taking place in Kittitas County, which means no sports until at least January.

Here are the actions taken:

  • The executive board approved boys and girls cross country and slowpitch softball as alternate seasons in WIAA Season 1
  • The executive board approved the move of girls swimming and diving to WIAA Season 3
  • WIAA Season 2 (basketball, wrestling, boys swim and dive, gymnastics and bowling) will begin with pre-competition practices starting December 28
  • The executive board approved 2021 football season will begin with practices starting on February 17
  • The executive board approved an out-of-season period from August 17 to September 27 and an out-of-season coaching period from September 28 to November 30
  • Schools will be allowed to schedule 70% of typical allowable contests for each sport in all seasons
  • Competitive cheer will be moved to Season 3

Cross country and girls swim and dive was slated to commence in Season 1 – the only two sports to be active in the county – but the latter was moved to Season 3. Cross country was approved for an alternative season, which means events can take place in Season 1, but culminating events wouldn’t occur until Season 3.

While boys and girls golf is typically played in the spring, Ellensburg High School athletic director Cole Kanyer said that they are discussing the possibility of moving it to the fall (Season 1), according to the release from Bulldog Athletics. But the state tournament would be played in Season 4 (June 21 to June 27).

No championships will be played in Season 1 for golf, tennis, cross country and slow pitch softball – all alternative seasons – which are set to begin practice on Sept. 7.

As mentioned in previous articles, for athletics to be played, counties need to be in Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase plan for low-risk sports – which is currently paused indefinitely for counties to move forward with phase reopening – and Phase 4 for moderate-risk sports.

Football – a high-risk sport – which will have practices begin earlier than previously set, is assumed to be needed in Phase 4, though wasn’t specified in the WIAA’s return-to-play guidelines released on June 22.

Luke Olson: lolson@kvnews.com; on Twitter: @lukeolsonb

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