Greetings, All. I hope everyone is well and hanging in there. It’s been a long, strange trip since the abrupt end to our 2020 season. Normally, we would be planning for Fall Ball to start in November, but as you can imagine, things are still up in the air. I just attended our league’s annual coaches’ meeting, virtually of course, and wanted to share with you this update:
Will there be a 2021 season? Of course the answer is, it depends. And it depends on a lot of factors:
Our league, Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association, is moving forward in preparation for there to be a season. But they will be taking input and direction from the Governor, Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), and local school districts (PSD in our case).
The Governor has laid out a plan of phases for “reopening.” Each phase has a series of guidelines. Pierce County is currently in Phase 2 (as are most of the counties that are home to the bulk of the teams in our league). Phase 2 limits recreational activity to 5 or fewer people (outside your household). So in this moment, we would not be able to have normal practices or competitions. Phase 3 allows for 50 or fewer people, which should allow for us to have normal practices and competitions. There is no timeline for when we might move to Phase 3.
While our league is not controlled by WIAA, WIAA does govern school sports. WIAA has proposed an alternate schedule for the 2020/2021 season. For example, football (normally a fall sport) would be moved to spring. And a later spring season would follow for sports like boys soccer. Our league is planning to align our season with this late spring season, likely starting in April (our normal start is late February). This modified season would likely run from April into June (we normally end in May).
While our local school district does not have jurisdiction over our league or our club, our club will certainly be looking at how the district moves forward with reopening school sports. Further, our ability to use the school fields will certainly be impacted by the district’s opening the fields for rent by community organizations such as ours, and by the modified seasons for football and boys soccer. So there is a major question mark regarding our ability to secure fields if in the event we are otherwise able to resume play.
So many things have to fall into place in order for us to have a 2021 season; the primary one being a move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 for most, if not all, of the counties.
Fall Ball 2020: The league has expanded our window for Fall Ball, allowing us to have contact with players from October 5 through December 12. However, we are still governed by the protocols for our county’s phase, Phase 2, which only allows for up to 5 people to gather. So that severely limits what we can do. Field space is also a challenge, since the district is not currently renting the school fields, and Sehmel can’t accommodate all the demand from the many organizations in our community. Then, of course, there are the individual concerns of coaches, parents, players about resuming contact. At this time, there are no plans to conduct Fall Ball sessions.
The league has asked me to reach out to all potential players and get a sense of who is interested in playing in 2021 so that we can have a better sense of the interest level moving forward. Please reply to this email and let me know if you would be interested in participating in high school lacrosse in 2021, assuming we have entered into Phase 3.
You can direct all questions to me at BoysVarsity@GigHarborLacrosse
Thank you, All.
Marc Kemp, Head Coach
US Lacrosse Return to Play guidelines: https://www.uslacrosse.org/return-to-play
County Status: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/county-status-and-safe-start-application-process
Washington State’s Phased Approach: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/safe-start/whats-open-each-phase
WIAA: https://www.wiaa.com/News.aspx?ID=1730&Mon=9&Yr=2020 & http://wiaa.com/news.aspx?ID=1724&Mon=1&Yr=2020
Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association: http://www.whsbla.org/Default.asp?org=whsbla.org
District guidelines: https://www.psd401.net/schoolreopening
Reopening PSD Plan: https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1599089471/psd401net/jir9khq77px6261zakwr/RemoteLearningGuidebookSept2.pdf