SPSL Athletics Will Start on February 1
High schools in the 4A South Puget Sound League (SPSL) will return to sports practices in February with football beginning on February 1. Other season 1 fall sports start on February 8 including boys and girls cross country, boys and girls golf, girls soccer, girls swim & dive, and volleyball. Season 2 sports will start March 22 with spring sports along with boys swim & dive. Season 3 begins May 3 and includes winter sports, boys tennis, water polo, cheer and dance.
Seasons will be six weeks long with competition taking place between league schools. There will be no statewide culminating events this year with an emphasis on getting back to sports and activities in a safe environment. Each sport has a required number of practices for each student-athlete prior to participating in a competition. Football and gymnastics would start a week early as there are more pre-contest practice requirements for safety reasons.
In Phase 1 of the Healthy Washington guidelines cross country, golf and swim & dive can practice and compete. Competition for football, soccer and volleyball are dependent on reaching Healthy Washington Phase 2, though these sports can practice in Phase 1. Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reports that determine phases are released each Friday afternoon and take effect the following Monday.
Eight of the established SPSL schools are located in the Puget Sound Region of the Healthy Washington Guidelines. Member schools Olympia (West region) and South Kitsap (Northwest region) have elected to participate against schools in their region for at least the first season, possibly all three seasons. The SPSL has welcomed Pierce County high schools Gig Harbor and Peninsula as members for the 2020-21 season as they were competing in a league that involved multiple regions.
The updated DOH guidelines have allowed the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) and local leagues to make decisions about start dates and guidelines for competition. When considering schedules, it was determined to move high risk indoor sports to the last season to allow more time for COVID-19 conditions to improve. High risk indoor sports are unable to compete in Phase 2, with Phase 3 guidelines still to be released.
Schools will continue to follow established COVID safety guidelines that include screening, sanitizing, and physical distancing.
SPSL 4A Sports Seasons for 2020-21
Fall Sports 2/8/21-3/20/21
B/G cross country, football (starts 2/1/20), B/G golf, girls soccer, girls swim and dive, volleyball.
Spring Sports 3/22/20-5/1/20
Baseball, fastpitch softball, boys soccer, boys swim and dive, girls tennis, B/G track and field.
Winter Sports 5/3/20-6/12/20
B/G basketball, girls bowling, cheer with stunting, dance, gymnastics (4/26), boys tennis, B/G water polo, B/G wrestling.
Department of Health Sport and Activity Risk Levels
Low risk sports: tennis, swimming, golf, gymnastics, cross country, track & field, sideline/no-contact cheer and no-contact dance.
Moderate risk sports: softball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, school bowling competitions.
High risk sports: football, wrestling, cheerleading with contact, dance with contact, basketball, water polo.
- WIAA/Healthy WA Sport & Activity Guidelines (updated 1/26/21)
- Washington Sporting Activities COVID-19 Guidance (updated 1/11/21) – school and community sport information begins on page 3
- DOH Risk Assessment Dashboard – Look under Reports for the weekly Roadmap to Recover reports each Friday
- Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery document