WIAA planning to release ‘30,000-foot approach’ return-to-play guidelines for high school sports ‘in the next week or so’

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is set to release a return-to-play guidance to member schools “some time in the next week or so,” assistant executive director Andy Barnes said Wednesday. 

The association is waiting for input on the document from the Washington Department of Health. 

The guidance will be specific to schools in the state of Washington, but will mirror the 16-page document released by the National Federation of High School Associations on May 19, which outlined a three-phase approach on how to carefully “open up” athletics.

K-12 schools are closed through June 19 across Washington, the remainder of the academic year, and the spring high school season was canceled by Gov. Jay Inslee in early April. 

The document released by the NFHS was more of a recommendation than a blueprint. The WIAA says its guidance will be formatted similarly, as a tool for schools that are planning what a return will look like. 

Barnes called it a “30,000-foot approach.”

“We’re basically just modifying it so that its got some markings on it,” Barnes said. “It’s got more of our language but, more or less, it’s gonna be almost exactly the same. It will have very few differences because we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel when we saw that document.”

Separately, committees are being formed for each fall sport to develop return-to-play contingency plans. Those committees will begin to meet next week.

MORE: An inside look at how the WIAA is planning to for sports to return. ‘It’s even more like shooting a target in the dark right now.’

Statewide High School Sports Reporter at SBLive | andy@scorebooklive.com

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