DATE: January 19, 2021
TO: Student-Athletes, Families, and Fans of the Northeast “A” League (NEA)
FROM: Northeast A (NEA) Athletic Directors
RE: Important NEA League Update
Dear Athletes/Families/Fans of the NEA,
Last week, the WIAA made the decision to move the start date of Fall sports to February 1, 2021. While this is a step in the right direction, we are still left in a complicated scenario. Under the current restrictions in Phase 1 of Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery, our traditional fall sports would be subject to serious practice and competition restrictions. Simply put, we need to get into phase 2 for the majority of our sports to practice and compete against other schools.
In addition to the fall sport announcement, The WIAA also encouraged individual leagues to create and devise plans for its seasons that would be more beneficial and conducive to its region/area of the state. Since our region is currently only in phase 1, the league unanimously voted to delay the start of fall sports in hopes that a little more time might help us achieve the all important, Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington recovery. This plan was supported by every Superintendent, Principal and Athletic Director in the NEA League and was also approved by the WIAA.
After several meetings and receiving feedback from our superintendents and principals, the NEA has agreed upon the following start/end dates for the 2020-21 school year sport seasons:
March 1, 2021 - April 10, 2021 (February 22nd for football)
B/G Cross Country
April 5, 2021 - May 15, 2021
Track & Field
Golf and Tennis
May 10, 2021 - June 19, 2021
The NEA unanimously felt that these season dates provided a fair and reasonable opportunity for all sports to have a chance to happen. Here are some additional details about the seasons:
-Each season is six (6) weeks in duration and overlaps into the following season by one (1) week.
*The NEA is exploring options for students to satisfy the pre-practice requirements
*Details will be explained further by your Athletic Director.
-Starting with traditional fall sports first allows for the best chance for quality practices and competitions in regards to field conditions. It also allows football to begin one (1) week earlier in order to meet the pre-practice requirement.
*If our Region advances to Phase 2 by February 12, 2021, the NEA will consider moving the start date of Season A to an earlier start.
-Spring Break (April 5-9, 2021) could include competition for fall sports and the start of practices for spring sports. Spring Sports would begin April 5; hopefully with quality outdoor weather.
-Basketball and wrestling (considered high risk at this point) are placed in the last season (season C) to provide more time for COVID-management and a graduation to phase 3.
-School districts can provide opportunities for students in out-of-season activities up to the first day of Season A (Fall Sports).
*Please understand that the WIAA, Washington State, and/or Department of Health could make decisions that could alter this plan.
We realize there are many challenges ahead of us and more questions that need to be addressed. Figuring out the logistics of actually practicing and competing will require extensive work moving forward; details that will surely be shared when the time comes. At the very least, we wanted to communicate the season dates and some details to provide hope and optimism that athletics could resume this year.
As we progress toward the start of the NEA fall sports season, we ask for your cooperation and help. There surely may be “bumps in the road” as we go and athletics will undoubtedly look different than it has in the past, but please remember the end goal that we have in mind: we are doing this for the kids. We are excited about providing a plan with opportunities for our student-athletes. Thank you in advance for your grace, patience and flexibility as we move through this together.
NEA Athletic Directors