The Representative Assembly of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association passed seven amendments, including one that makes a significant effort to curb athletic transfers, the WIAA announced Monday.
WIAA 2021 High School Amendment No. 2 stipulates that a student is not varsity eligible if the student transfers to a school after participating on a non-school team if one or more of the high school coaches were involved with that non-school team. Ineligibility would also be extended if the student received instruction or training, including weight training and condition, from a person affiliated with the school to which the student transfers.
In other words, an athlete would be ineligible if transferring to play for a high school coach who is also the athlete’s club team coach. Under that rule, the student would be ineligible for varsity competition in that sport for one year after the date of transfer.
The amendment, which was presented to the representative assembly by the athletic directors of the 4A/3A Greater St. Helens League, passed by a vote of 25-10. Amendments require a 60-percent yes vote to pass, or 21 votes if all 35 high school members of the representative assembly vote. If the amendment impacts both high schools and middle schools, 32 votes of the 53 members are required.
A similar amendment was proposed and rejected in 2018, but that proposal dealt with club coaches and teammates. The 2021 amendment simply dealt with coaches.
“A huge growing issue that we are seeing (in Clark County) is the amount of high school coaches who are doubling as athletic trainers, 7-on-7 coaches, whatever it is, the skill development outside of (the school program),” said Prairie athletic Jason Castro, when presenting the proposal to the WIAA Winter Coalition in January. “And one of the byproducts of doing both is the inevitable transfer of students.”
Another amendment, which was also proposed by 4A/3A GSHL athletic director, that passed was one that allowed two-day wrestling tournament consisting of brackets larger than 16 individuals to be counted as one of the 16 allowed team dates for wrestling teams. That amendment passed 26-9.
Another amendment that eliminates the restriction of 20 days of coaching for summer football narrowly passed 21-13. An amendment, impacting high schools and middle schools, that allows 1A high schools to use eighth graders with league approval narrowly passed 32-21.
Another proposal, which would allow high school basketball teams to count up to four in-season tournament games as just one of their allotted 20 regular-season games, fell one vote short of passage.