Washington high school spring sports championships will go on as scheduled. For now.
WIAA executive director Mick Hoffman said Tuesday in a video address the association is planning to run the spring championships in May, if schools return on schedule from a statewide shutdown as concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus continue.
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“If that date gets pushed longer, we will provide updates depending on what we are hearing at that time,” WIAA executive director Mick Hoffman said. “Again, we’re out of school until April 24 statewide. If we are able to return, state championships will go as scheduled.”
On Friday, Washington state governor Jay Inslee ordered the closure of all K-12 schools across the entire state of Washington through April 24 at the earliest. He also limited all public gathering to 50 or fewer people.
Washington state has become the country’s epicenter for the virus, which started in Wuhan, China in late 2019. More than 1,000 people across the state have tested positive and, according to The Seattle Times, 55 have died.
In the days following, as life in the the United States has come to a standstill, the world of sports — high school sports no exception, in addition to professional and college — has, too.
According to the WIAA, if school closures are not extended, the spring sports championships could still go on.
In Washington, as student athletes find ways to stay in shape outside of organized sports, the WIAA has offered a path forward, and called on athletic directors and coaches to discourage group practices and meet-ups, per Gov. Inslee’s mandate, since individuals infected with coronavirus may be contagious despite not showing symptoms.
“For the benefit of everybody, and to speed up the recovery process for the entire state, please follow directives, and show leadership that directs your students not to get together to do this on their own time in their own way that’s in compliance with governor Inslee’s request,” Hoffman said.
Any further delays could put the championships in jeopardy. No championships, the WIAA said, are to be held after May 30 to avoid conflicts with high school graduations.
Watch Hoffman’s full address here: