At the beginning of the academic year, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) released its schedule for high school sports during the pandemic. Originally, the schedule was designed so that sports that are considered less risky would take priority. Events outdoors considered socially distant would be played first and high-risk indoor sports like basketball and wrestling were saved for later on in the year.
The idea behind it was simple, wait until the pandemic was somewhat under control and more of the population was vaccinated to avoid a possible increase in infections. But with the rise in COVID-19 cases in Washington recently, Governor Inslee has announced a two week hold on all phase activity and the possibility of phase rollbacks.
The hold is great news but, with the final stretch of the high school sports season on the horizon, schools find themselves in a difficult situation. If a county does get rolled back to phase two, then all high-risk sports there would have to be cancelled.
For example, if Franklin County gets rolled back to phase two, then Pasco High School will be unable to host indoor sporting events due to COVID requirements. But if Benton county stays in phase three, Pasco can work with other districts to compete outside of the county and salvage what is left of the season.
These next two weeks determine if senior basketball players and wrestlers will be able to compete in their final season. So mask up and help make sure these athletes can compete in front of their home crowds one last time.