Acknowledging a “complicated scenario,” the Northeast A League released a delayed schedule Wednesday to return to sports.
Last week, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association moved the potential start of traditional fall sports under its revised Season 1 to as early as Feb. 1, but allowed for regions and leagues to modify as necessary in order to allow each to provide for as many sports and athletes as possible under the governor’s Healthy Washington-Roadmap to Recovery.
“Under the current restrictions,” the NEA release stated, “our traditional fall sports would be subject to serious practice and competition restrictions.
“Simply put, we need to get into Phase 2 for the majority of our sports to practice and compete against other schools.”
As such, the NEA released a delayed scheduled for a return to sports in the hope that Phase 2 of the governor’s plan can be reached and maintained before each season is scheduled to begin.
- Fall sports (football, volleyball, cross country, girls soccer): March 1-April 10. Football practice may commence Feb. 22;
- Spring sports (baseball, softball, track and field, golf, tennis, boys soccer): April 5-May 15;
- Winter sports (basketball, wrestling): May 10-June 19.
The NEA plan follows WIAA’s updated schedule for Seasons 2 and 3, released Tuesday, moving high-risk indoor winter sports until later in the spring, allowing for more time to achieve conditions to allow participation and indoor gatherings.
“If our region advances to Phase 2 by Feb. 12, the NEA will consider moving the start date of Season A to an earlier start,” the release said.
Each season is scheduled for six weeks, with a one-week overlap with the next season. The NEA is exploring options for students to satisfy practice requirements for athletes in overlapping sports.
The East Region is in Phase 1 of the Healthy Washington-Roadmap to Recovery. All four of the following COVID-19 metrics must be met to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2:
- Decreasing trend (10%) in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population;
- Decreasing trend (10%) in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population;
- ICU occupancy (total COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90%;
- COVID-19 test positivity rate of 10%.
The Greater Spokane League last week issued a staggered start for Season 1 and planned to update its schedule once the WIAA provided guidance on Seasons 2 and 3.
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