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Football, volleyball, swimming, cross country, and golf and soccer are all clamoring for a hopeful start date next month

By George Edgar
For West Sound Sports Plus

The WIAA has given the state of Washington a date as when to start the upcoming sports season and it’s now Feb. 1.

Next month is the presumed beginning of fall sports football, volleyball, swimming, cross country, girls soccer and boys soccer on the class B level, and boys golf.

Central Kitsap’s 400 free relay team of Amanda Ashmore, Alayna Kisiday, Nadine Dockendorf and Eleanor Hebard smile after swimming during the 3A girls state swimming and diving championships Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at KCAC in Federal Way.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

The change comes after Governor Jay Inslee announced a set of guidelines for the resumption of school athletics in the state of Washington last week. Sports will maintain previously assigned risk levels, depending on the activity.

Athletic director and coaches are glad to see a date where sports can start, and can make preparations for the upcoming season.

“I’m excited that we have a potential start date and that we have the opportunity to get students active again in school sponsored, education-based athletics,” said Olympic athletic director Nate Andrews, in an e-mail. “Our job as athletic directors is to make sure a plan is in place so we are ready to resume activities as soon as we get the green light from school district leadership. After many pivots and deep dives into the complexities of guidelines, I’m confident we will be ready even in these unprecedented times.”

While the WIAA’s Executive Board will provide a uniform season schedule concluding in regional culminating events, it has granted each league or district around the state the ability to reschedule seasons to best fit their local communities.

Most athletic teams have been conducting conditioning workouts outside, though lately, rainy and blustery weather have slowed them down. The possibility of indoor sports teams finally getting inside would be welcome to them.

Klahowya's Grace Christensen, left, and Chloe Settle block against Bellevue Christian's Cora Ter Kuile during a 1A West Central District volleyball match Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at Charles Wright Academy in University Place. Bellevue won 3-1. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
Klahowya’s Grace Christensen, left, and Chloe Settle block against Bellevue Christian’s Cora Ter Kuile during a 1A West Central District volleyball match Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at Charles Wright Academy in University Place. Bellevue won 3-1.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“While being outside on the turf is far from a perfect scenario for indoor volleyball, it is definitely better than nothing,” said Klahowya volleyball coach Wendy Kraft in an e-mail response. “I know the athletes (and their parents) appreciate the extra effort our AD and coaches have made to make this possible for them. One thing that has been frustrating is the constant changes in the actual schedule. Just a few days ago, we thought winter sports would be first followed by fall sports. If volleyball truly begins, indoors, on February 1, then I am all for it. Of course, it would be most helpful to get to move practices indoors before then.”

Though the date doesn’t seem set in stone, given the fluidity of the situations surrounding state-mandated protocols regarding infections and tracing, the hope of playing on February 1 is better than no hope at all.

“There is no way to be fully prepared for indoor volleyball when we haven’t been given the green light to move indoors,” said Kraft in her e-mail. “There is only so much we can do outside, especially in the wet, cold weather. It has been over a year since volleyball players have gotten to practice on a court. Again, the chance to play at this point far outweighs whether or not we are prepared to play. Every athlete wants to start…yesterday!”

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