Cross country, boys golf, boys tennis will open seasons on Feb. 1 in 4A and 3A GSHL

Cross country, boys tennis and boys golf may start practices Feb. 1 with competition beginning the following week, even if the Southwest Region remains in Phase 1 of the state’s “Healthy Washington” reopening plan.

After modifications were made to the guidelines by the state earlier this week, low-risk outdoor sports – like cross country, tennis and golf – could begin practices and competitions while a region remains in Phase 1. The Southwest Region, which includes the counties of Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, Klickitat and Wahkiakum, was placed in Phase 1 of the new reopening plan on Monday, after hitting on only two of four required COVID-19 metrics.

“High school is just so special because it really is one of the only times golf is a team sport,” Camas senior golfer Owen Huntington said. “We’re excited. It means a lot to have one more half of a season, at least, as a team.”

The 3A and 4A GSHL mapped out a more comprehensive plan for the return of moderate- and higher-risk sports of football, volleyball, girls soccer and Slowpitch softball, which require a region to be in Phase 2 to begin competitions. Those sports will return under the following guidelines:

  • If the Southwest Region is in Phase 2 by Jan. 25, those sports may begin practices on Feb. 1.
  • If Phase 2 is not reached until Feb. 1, practices may begin on Feb. 8. The process repeats itself – if Phase 2 is reached on Feb. 8, practices start Feb. 15; if Phase 2 is reached on Feb. 15, then practices start on Feb. 22.
  • Any delays in a start from the Feb. 1 start date would lead to an overlap with subsequent seasons.
  • If the moderate- and high-risk sports cannot begin practices by Feb. 22, the leagues will adopt a two-season format that will be combined the seasons of some fall sports with that of spring sports and other fall sports with that of winter sports.

Because indoor pools, both public and private, currently have limited capacity under COVID-19 restrictions and cannot accommodate high school swim teams, the season for girls swimming will be delayed to a subsequent season.

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