By Briana Alzola

The first sports season, which will now include football, girls swim, cross country and volleyball, is set to start at the beginning of February, according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

The organization decided Wednesday to amend its season schedule yet again and bring traditional fall sports to the first season of the year, instead of the scheduled sports like basketball and wrestling. As it stands, practices can start for the first season on Feb. 1, and the season will end March 20.

The WIAA is expected to review seasons two and three at its Jan. 19 meeting.

The change comes after Gov. Jay Inslee’s new Healthy Washington plan, which outlined a new set of guidelines for education-based athletics and activities. The plan sets levels of participation for each phase.

“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 a press release. “With that in mind, moving fall sports to Season 1 will hopefully provide the most opportunities to participate.”

The open coaching period currently in place, which allows coaches of any sport to hold practices with a limited number of athletes, continues until the first season starts.

Information: www.wiaa.com

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