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    High School Athletics Update
    Posted on 02/18/2021

    High School Athletics Update

    As of Monday February 1, 2021, Governor Inslee moved the Puget Sound region into Phase 2, which allows for some sports to be offered in-person. In alignment, Seattle Public Schools' high school athletic programming will begin February 22, 2021. All sports will operate following guidance and protocol from the Governor’s Office, Department of Health (DOH), Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), and school district.

    We believe that students should be offered every available opportunity to socialize with their peers while following appropriate safety protocols. While students are not able to return to school buildings as they are used to right now, we believe it is important to provide some in-person programming that support the social emotional well-being of students. There are many benefits to being involved in high school athletics. A student athlete may find improved physical fitness, social and emotional development, personal and team goal attainment, leadership development, teamwork, time management skills, and improved academics. In the current environment, these benefits become heightened because student-athletes have not been able to participate in educational-based athletics for nearly a year.

    What health and safety protocols/measures will be in place for student athletes to participate?

    The governor, Department of Health (DOH), and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) collectively gathered information from health experts locally and nationally to provide guidance to safely conduct each sport in a phased approach. The school district and Metro League will follow these guidelines to provide our students a valued experience.

    In conjunction with Seattle Public Schools, the Athletic Department developed a COVID-19 Safety Plan. Some key areas within this document include:

    General Protocols:

    • Daily health screening (attestation)
    • Physical distancing, as recommended by the DOH
    • Face masks must be worn at all times by all participants – including athletes, coaches, and essential event personnel (i.e. officials)
    • Frequent hand washing, as outlined in DOH guidelines
    • Disinfectant cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, as outlined in DOH guidelines
    • Training, supervision, and reinforcement of protocols

    Student-Athlete and Family Expectations:

    • Participate on a voluntary basis
    • Complete registration including COVID-19 participation waiver forms
    • Students must stay at home if not feeling well or exhibiting any symptoms
    • Notify coach of any symptoms or possible contact with someone exposed to COVID-19
    • Maintain social distancing and always wear a mask when arriving, participating, and leaving practice or a contest

    You can find additional information about safety protocols from WIAA:

    • Healthy Washington Sport and Activity Guidelines
    • Return-to-Play Guidelines
    • Return-to-Play Guidelines for Swim and Dive

    What will be different in sport offerings?

    The Metro League intends to offer its traditional sports in a two-season model. Due to Governor and Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, sport offerings will look different. All sports will have a shortened season. Some sports will have competition participation limits, such as swimming lanes. While traditional competitions like swim meets will look different, thoughtful consideration is used toward providing opportunities for student-athlete participation.

    Season 1: February 22 to April 17

    • Boys: Football
    • Girls: Bowling, gymnastics, soccer, slow-pitch softball, swim and dive, volleyball
    • Co-ed: Cross country, golf

    Season 2: April 19 to June 12

    • Boys: Baseball, basketball, soccer, swim and dive
    • Girls: Basketball, fast-pitch softball ·
    • Co-ed: Tennis, track and field, wrestling

    Please note: seasons and/or sports may need to be adjusted based on Puget Sound Region’s Puget Sound Region’s metrics.

    Will fans be able to watch events?

    No, not at this time. Under the current guidelines of the Governor and Department of Health, it is unlikely fans will be able to view competitions. The guidelines vary based on sport and risk level. At this time, there is not an equitable way to meet the demands of fans attending practices or contests, thus no fans will be allowed.

    What does my student need to do before attending practice?

    Prior to practicing, all participants (including coaches) are required to complete a daily health screening process. Student-athletes should be prepared by bringing their own water bottle, towel, and any other personal equipment.

    Will masks be required?

    Yes, it is the current district policy that face masks must be worn at all times by all participants – including athletes, coaches, and essential event personnel (i.e., officials/referees). This includes during competitions and practices (an exception is swimming; however, masks must be worn immediately outside of the pool).

    What are the athletic eligibility rules?

    All student athletes must comply with the WIAA rules and regulations. If you have questions or concerns about eligibility, please contact your school’s athletic director for guidance.

    To participate in athletics, are sport physicals required?

    Yes, per WIAA regulations, current sport physicals are required to participate.

    Can my student participate in two sports during the same season?

    Multi-sport athletes may find that they may have to select one sport over another. However, the two-season model give students a longer planned season, rather than a very short season which could be lost if there is an interruption. The Metro League is pursuing an exemption from the WIAA concurrent sports rule 18.22.0. We will know more after a WIAA ruling on the matter.

    Can our family travel out of state for a vacation and return to participation?

    If a student/family decides to travel out of state for whatever reason, we will follow the governor's recommendation of self-quarantine for 14 days after returning. The student athlete/family should limit their interactions to their immediate household.

    What happens if someone has been exposed to the virus?

    If a coach, student, or an event participant has contracted the virus, please alert your athletic director. A communication system has been put into place so the school district can conduct contact tracing to eliminate the spread.

    What happens if an athlete contracts COVID-19? What is the Return-To-Play protocol?

    There is a strict Return-To-Play protocol for all athletes who test positive for COVID-19 virus as recommended by Seattle Children’s Hospital (these protocols are listed under the health and safety question above).

    Will transportation be provided?

    No, not at this time. Seattle Public Schools' Athletic and Transportation Departments are partnering to find solutions for complex transportation needs. As we learn more, information will be provided.