Beginning next season, high schools in the state of Washington will be allowed to petition down one classification in football.
The new rule was one of eight amendments passed by the Representative Assembly of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, the WIAA announced Monday.
Previously only schools in Class 2B and 1B were permitted to petition to opt up or down in football only. The passed amendment will allow schools in Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A to seek permission from the Executive Board of the WIAA to opt down one class in football.
The rationale for this amendment seeks flexibility in scheduling as well as increased competitive equity.
For example, a school that feels it cannot remain competitive in football at Class 4A can petition the WIAA to drop down and play football at Class 3A. Not all petitions will be approved by the WIAA and each petition will be judged on its own merit in a case by case basis.
Two other amendments passed will make it easier for multi-sport athletes to transition from one season to another, when seasons overlap.
One amendment will allow five practices from one sport to be transferred to another sport in the same season. Most sports have a 10-practice minimum requirement before an athlete is eligible to participate in a game or meet.
For example, an athlete plays basketball in the winter but also plays football in the fall. If the football season extends past the start of the first day of basketball practice, because of a deep run in the state playoffs, then up to five football practices that occur after the date of the first basketball practice can be counted toward getting that athlete eligible to play in a basketball game.
Another passed amendment would lessen the penalty for consecutive practices missed in this preseason qualifying period.
Another amendment passed would allow the WIAA Executive Board to waive or modify the constitution outlined in the WIAA Handbook under certain circumstances.
This would be in an effort to expedite decision-making and change regarding time-sensitive topics. The Executive Board would need to get majority approval from the Representative Assembly to waive the constitution. Additionally, the Executive Board will now have the ability to modify classification policies and procedures as deemed necessary.
A trio of sport-specific amendments were also passed:
Basketball teams in Class 2B and 1B will be allowed to play two games in one day in certain conditions in an effort to help with scheduling preseason tournaments.
Overtime may be played in junior varsity football games.
Warm-up procedures for regular season volleyball matches will mirror those in procedures followed in the postseason.