Athletics and Activities
Athletics and afterschool activities can be an important part of a student’s educational experience, but they can also raise issues and concerns. Please see below for potential questions or issues you may have.
Who is in charge of sports and activities?
School Boards direct district staff to work with schools to provide sports and activities that will benefit their students. Both the district and local high schools will have an Athletic Director who oversees athletic programs.
What should I do if I have a concern about a coach or advisor?
If you have tried speaking with them directly about the issue, or you don’t feel that would be appropriate, contact the school’s Athletic Director or Principal.
Can my student participate in sports or activities?
Sports and activities should be made available to all students attending public school in Washington – including students with disabilities. Moving schools or districts may affect a student’s ability to participate at the varsity level for one year. Check with your Athletic or Activity Director if you expect to move.
Note that many sports and activities at the high school level do allow for cuts if there are not enough spaces on the team. These decisions are made by the coaching or advisory staff. Questions or concerns about cuts should be directed to the head coach of the sport, the Athletic Director, or the Advisor. Schools are also required to set academic standards students must meet in order to participate.
My student is being bullied during a sport or activity, what should I do?
Your school/district’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying rules and policies still apply. For more information see our page or handout on dealing with HIB: https://oeo.wa.gov/sites/default/files/public/Preventing-Bullying-2015.pdf
Relevant laws (RCW 28A.600.200):
Each school district board of directors is hereby granted and shall exercise the authority to control, supervise and regulate the conduct of interschool athletic activities and other interschool extracurricular activities of an athletic, cultural, social or recreational nature for students of the district.
A board of directors may delegate control, supervision and regulation of any such activity to the Washington interscholastic activities association or any other voluntary nonprofit entity and compensate such entity for services provided.
What is the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA)?
The WIAA is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) service organization and rule-making body that was formed in 1905 to create equitable playing conditions between high school sports teams in Washington. The Association consists of nearly 800 member high schools and middle/junior high schools, both public and private, and is divided into nine geographic service districts.
The WIAA oversees athletics and fine arts in Washington and hosts 120 state championship events for different sports and activities.
- WIAA Handbook: http://www.wiaa.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=350