Washington Interscholastic Activities Association
|Formation||1905, 112 years ago|
|Headquarters||435 Main Avenue South
Renton, WA 98057
|Affiliations||National Federation of State High School Associations|
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is the governing body of athletics and activities for secondary education schools in the state of Washington. As of February 2011, the private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization consists of nearly 800 member high schools and middle/junior high schools, both public and private.
- 1 Purpose
- 2 Funding
- 3 WIAA-sanctioned sports & activities
- 4 Classification
- 5 Historic classifications
- 6 League alignments
- 7 Neighboring states (and province)
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Founded in 1905 to "create equitable playing conditions" between member teams, the WIAA plans and supervises interscholastic sports and activities approved and delegated by the various school district boards of directors. The organization emphasizes the importance of interscholastic sports and activities in the "total educational process" while recognizing that education is the primary responsibility of its member schools.
The WIAA creates and governs rules to establish uniformity of standards in sports and activities; to protect the safety and health of students; to shield students from exploitation by special interest groups; to provide fair and equal opportunities to all students participating; and to encourage good sportsmanship. A stated goal of the organization is to promote diversity of its membership at all levels.
The organization also provides member schools an open channel of communication with other members to organize any events and activities, as well as to resolve any issues. In addition, the WIAA recognizes achievement and excellence of member teams and individuals participating in sports and activities.
Primary funding for the WIAA is through ticket sales for state championships and other events. Additional funds are secured through corporate sponsorships, memberships fees, and small percentages of the sales of merchandise related to the organization and its member schools. As a private organization, the WIAA does not receive funding via tax dollars and is not financially supported by the State of Washington.
WIAA-sanctioned sports & activities
The WIAA oversees athletics and fine arts in Washington state. As of February 2011, the organization hosts 83 state championships for the following sports and activities:
Classification is based on student body enrollment in grades 9–11) and used by the WIAA to maintain fair and equal competition between its member high schools. The organization places member schools into one of six tiered classifications based on enrollment ranges: 1B, 2B, 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A. The enrollment ranges are evaluated by the WIAA Executive Board biennially and finalized for a two-year period. Enrollments of single-gender schools are doubled for classification purposes.
Current classifications for years 2016 through 2020, as approved by the WIAA Executive Board on January 25, 2016, were:
Member schools are given the option to move to a higher classification to compete against larger schools. The WIAA gives members two opportunities to "opt-up" for higher classification: 1) prior to the enrollment count that will inform the enrollment ranges for classification when evaluated and finalized by the Executive Board; and 2) a two-week period after the classification enrollment ranges have been finalized.
Schools that opt-up during the first opportunity are divided into equal classifications after the classification enrollment ranges have been finalized. Schools that elect to opt-up during the second opportunity must be approved by the board of their governing District and the WIAA Executive Board.
For the years 2010 through 2012, 9 schools opted up to 2B classification; 5 to 1A, 1 to 2A, 24 to 3A, and 4 schools opted up to 4A classification. In the past schools have opted up in order to prevent leagues from dissolving, as the Eastside Prep Eagles did in the 2012-2013 season, opting up from 1B to the 1A Emerald City, now playing schools with over double their enrollment.
The WIAA is divided into nine districts that represent approximate geographical areas. Each district is presided over by a District Director. Member schools are aligned into geographical conferences or leagues for competition. District membership is determined by these conferences and leagues with the exception of two. The Columbia Basin Big Nine Conference and Central Washington Athletic Conference have member schools in two districts. Conference and League alignment is determined annually. The following are league alignments as of 2016-2017 school year and are subject to revision to adjust for the 2016-2020 reclassification.
Northwest District One
The Northwest Interscholastic Activities Association governs WIAA District 1, which encompasses the five counties in the northwest section of Washington State: Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, San Juan, and Island. As of February 2011, Northwest District 1 includes seven leagues with member schools from all classifications and a single independent member school. The Western High School Athletic Conference regulates two 4A classification leagues and one 3A classification league. Its membership consists of high schools in the public school districts of Arlington, Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Monroe, Mukilteo, Oak Harbor, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Stanwood. The Cascade Conference regulates member schools in both 2A and 1A classifications. Its membership consists of high schools in Snohomish, Island and north King counties, in and near Everett. The Northwest Conference regulates member schools in 3A, 2A and 1A classifications. Its membership consists of high schools in western Whatcom, Skagit and counties, in and near Bellingham and Mount Vernon. The Northwest 1A/2B/1B League regulates member schools in 1A,2B and 1B classifications. Its membership consists of high schools in San Juan, Skagit, Island, Snohomish and north King counties. The only school in this league that is not in the 2B or 2B classification is Friday Harbor, a 1A school. The Northwest B League regulates member schools in 1B classification. Its membership consists of small public and private high schools in San Juan, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.
SeaKing District Two
The SeaKing District encompasses mostly schools in King County. The schools are in all classification sizes and separated into five leagues by size and location. A majority of the state's 3A schools are located in this district and the West Central District 3. The Center School, International Community School, International School, and Secondary BOC are independents in this District.
West Central District Three
The WCD encompasses schools in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Pierce, Mason, Thurston, and King counties of the northern Peninsula and southern Puget Sound areas of Washington. The district has the most 4A and 3A schools combined in the state, with 26 and 16 respectively. It includes schools from all classification sizes, although most of the 2B schools in the region are members SeaTac league of SeaKing District two.
Southwest Washington District Four
The Southwest District, as its name suggests, includes schools south of the Olympic Mountains and west of the Cascade Range. The Washington School for the Blind (1B), Three Rivers Christian (1B), King's Way Christian (1B), Maple Lane High School (1A), and Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (1A) are independents.
Yakima Valley District Five
The Yakima Valley District includes schools in south central Washington. The schools are divided into five leagues.
North Central District Six
Northeast District Seven
Greater Spokane District Eight
The Greater Spokane League was formed in 1925 as the Spokane City League and became the GSL in 1976. District 8 was created to separate the larger schools (then AAA) from the smaller schools in District 7. Schools that drop to 2A therefore leave the GSL and District 8, to the Great Northern League in District 7. Consequently, schools have gone through great lengths to remain in the league and maintain historic rivalries. Gonzaga Prep opts-up to 4A, despite having 2A enrollment numbers. In 2014, the GSL separated the league into 4A and 3A to create space for more crossover games with other leagues. University H.S. also moved up to 4A 
Southeast District Nine
Neighboring states (and province)
- Oregon School Activities Association
- Idaho High School Activities Association
- British Columbia School Sports (Canada)
- WIAA.com: Mission & Purpose
- "4.0.0 Classification of schools" (PDF). WIAA Handbook. 2012–2013. p. 5. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- "Classifications 2016-20". WIAA. January 25, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- WIAA.com: WIAA Classification Opt-Up Second Opportunity Form
- "Classifications 2010-12". WIAA. January 24, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- "Classifications then and now". WIAA. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- WIAA.com: WIAA Districts & Leagues
- Northwest District 1 website (nwdist1.com)
- Northwest Interscholastic Activities Association (Northwest District 1) Handbook 2010-2011
- Western Conference Guidelines 2010-2011
- Cascade Conference Handbook 2010-2011
- Northwest Conference Handbook 2010-2011
- Northwest B League Constitution
- "The League of Champions - League Info - League History". Greater Spokane League. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Ralley, Dan (Jan 6 1997) Reclassification Sets Off Scramble in State High SchoolsSeattle PI. Retrieved 15 Mar 2010