The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association firmed up its current high school football season, moving it — along with seven other sports — to a seven-week window starting Feb. 1. The Wednesday announcement
could be a prelude to other Western states trying to formulate winter or spring football plans.
Reacting to Gov. Jay Inslee's "Roadmap to Recovery" announcement on Tuesday, the WIAA's Executive Board amended its July 21 plan by restructuring Season 1, which will also include cross country, golf, slowpitch softball, soccer, girls swimming and diving, tennis and volleyball.
Seasons 2 and 3 will be reviewed at its Jan. 19 meeting.
"The change in guidelines allow all traditional fall sports to be played in Phase 2 while we still do not have a clear pathway to the high risk indoor activities of basketball, competitive cheer and dance, and wrestling," WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman said in the release. "With that in mind, moving fall sports to Season 1 will hopefully provide the most opportunities to participate."
Washington is one of 17 states, including five in the West (California, Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon are others), that moved fall 2020 football to 2021. Thus far, 31 states completed fall football seasons — five stopped before state championships due to COVID-19 outbreaks — and two more are planned to finish this month, Texas and Michigan.
Oregon doesn't plan to restart sports of any kind until February, Hawaii
hopes to start football in March and Nevada remains up in the air on
football until it hears from its governor's office.
The California Interscholastic Federation announced Dec. 15 that it won't be able to play sports until at least Jan. 25 after the state's Department of Public Health released youth sports guidelines based on various colored tiers — from purple (most restrictive) to red and orange to yellow (least restrictive).
With 54 of 58 California counties deemed purple, football getting off the ground in the next month looks unlikely. The CIF maintains Jan. 25 is still the target date.
Growing concerns — especially from coaches and parents — that there might not be a football season has helped ignite a new Golden State High School Football Coaches Association, which has gained more than 800 members since its Dec. 20 launch, according to organizer and Serra (San Mateo, Calif.)
head coach Patrick Walsh.
A new Facebook page the organization is promoting — "Let Them Play California" — has nearly 14,000 members and just joined Twitter.
The Golden State coaches organization is asking to send Gov. Gavin Newsom to approve a six-game football season.
"We definitely don't want anyone to suffer from COVID-19," Walsh told the Bay Area News Group
. "We want to do this the right way. We want to be respectful of everything going on. But we want to be successful for our kids. We're tired of sitting on the sidelines watching. We're going to enter the conversation." Torrey Pines (San Diego)
coach Ron Gladnick told Good Morning San Diego
: "Kids are being left in the dust. They are hurting. They need our help."
Gladnick said that thousands of California kids are crossing state lines to play club football in Arizona and Nevada. "We're not allowing our kids to play while they cross state lines to co-mingle with other kids from other states before coming back home. Someone from the governor's office needs to explain to me how this is a good strategy."