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Sports & Recreation Guidance

This information is to assist our community and schools on sports activities allowed within our counties.

Sports Guidance

⇒ Submit your Sports Tournament Safety Plan to the Health District.

This information is to assist our community and schools on sports activities allowed within our counties. Guidance is issued from the Governor’s office and the Washington State Department of Health.

Whether or not a sport is allowed, and to what degree it is allowed, depends on a combination of the risk category for the sport and the COVID risk category for the county in which the sport is to take place.

New metrics have been adopted by the Department of Health, to divide regions into either Phase 1, Phase 2 or Phase 3. Sports will maintain their previously assigned risk levels with the exception of gymnastics which now moved to low risk. The level of participation for each sport will now be assigned to the phasing below.

For the purpose of this guidance, sport risks are defined as (this list is not all inclusive):

Tennis, swimming, pickleball, golf, gymnastics, climbing, skating, archery, fencing, cross country, track and field, sideline/no-contact cheer and no-contact dance, disc golf.

Softball, baseball, t-ball, soccer, futsal, volleyball, lacrosse, flag football, ultimate Frisbee, ice hockey, cricket, crew, field hockey, school bowling competitions.

Football, rugby, wrestling, cheerleading with contact, dance with contact, basketball, water polo, martial arts competitions, roller derby.

School-Based Sports and Activities

The previous guidelines for participation in athletics and activities were tied to county metrics of cases per 100,000 population. Movement between phases in the Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery plan will be tied to four new metrics.

Metrics for each region will be updated every three weeks on Mondays with an effective date of that Friday. Metrics can be found on our Metrics page.

The Governor’s Office and Washington State Department of Health issued new guidance for returning to education-based sports and activities, on January 5. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) has summarized those guidelines and added clarity for school programs in the Healthy Washington Sport & Activity Guidelines document.

WIAA Staff will continue to update the resources available on their page as the situation evolves. The WIAA has encouraged leagues to find creative solutions that will promote participation and engagement in their local communities including submitting requests for modifying season schedules and waiver requests for WIAA rules.

The WIAA has used this guidance to develop new general, as well as sport-specific, return-to-play guidelines. The Governor’s office has informed the WIAA that these guidelines must be followed and neither schools nor community sports programs have the authority to implement more lenient policies.

The Governor’s office has declared school districts and organizations must follow these guidelines, unlike the recommendations issued in the Decision-Making Tree for schools to return to in-person learning. It is not mandated that schools return to in-person learning before taking part in extracurricular activities given the phase requirements are met.

In-depth guidelines for Education Based Sports & Activities can be found on the WIAA Return to Play Guidelines page.

See also: WIAA Executive Board Revises Season 1 Sports in Response to State Guidelines

Guidance applicable to ALL sporting activities in all phase levels.

No tournaments allowed for moderate and high risk sports. A prohibition on tournaments for sporting activities does not include postseason, playoff, state or regional championship competitions with no more than four teams at one site sanctioned by a statewide interscholastic activities administrative and rule-making body that oversees competition in all counties in the state. Non-essential travel such as out-of-state team or individual travel for sporting activities are subject to quarantines as detailed in the Governor’s Travel Advisory.

The State of Washington is also adopting specific guidance for these areas: