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Washington Interscholastic Activities Association

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Title: Washington Interscholastic Activities Association  
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Washington Interscholastic Activities Association

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association
Abbreviation WIAA
Formation 1905, 110 years ago
Type Volunteer; NPO
Legal status Association
Purpose Athletic/Educational
Headquarters 435 Main Avenue South
Renton, WA 98057
Region served Washington
Official language English
Executive Director Mike Colbrese
Affiliations National Federation of State High School Associations
Staff 15
Remarks (425) 687-8585

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is the governing body of athletics and activities for high schools and middle/junior high schools, both public and private.[1]


Founded in 1905 to "create equitable playing conditions"[1] 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"[1] 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.[1]

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.[1] 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[1] for the following sports and activities:


Other activities


Classification is based on student body enrollment in the upper three grades (10–12) and used by the WIAA to maintain fair and equal competition between its member [2]

Current classifications for years 2014 through 2016, as approved by the WIAA Executive Board on January 27, 2014,[3] are as follows:
Classification Enrollment
(gr. 10–12)
Average per
class year
4A 1252.4 + 417 + 65 11
3A 990.9–1252.3 330–417 65 19
2A 472–990.8 157–330 64 1
1A 225–471.9 75–157 64 12
2B 90–224.9 30–75 59 4
1B 26–89.9 8–30 63
Total 380 47
The previous classifications for years 2012 through 2014, as approved by the WIAA Executive Board on January 23, 2012,[4] were:
Classification Enrollment
(gr. 10–12)
Average per
class year
4A 1304 + 435 + 67 3
3A   1086–1303   362–434 63 18
2A 513–1085 171–361 64 2
1A 208–512 70–170 74 10
2B 93–207 31–69 48 5
1B 0–92 0–30 73
Total 389 41

For the years 2010 through 2012, there were 62 member schools in the 1B classification; 62 in 2B, 65 in 1A, 64 in 2A, 67 in 3A, and 66 member schools in the 4A classification. In addition, 23 member schools were not counted because "they do not access postseason play, they have no athletics, they do not meet the WIAA separate alternative high school definition or they do not field at least one team sport outside of a combined program."[5]


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.[6]

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.[6]

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.[5]

Historic classifications

Years 4A 3A 2A 1A 2B 1B
2006–present 4A 3A 2A 1A 2B 1B
1998–2006 4A 3A 2A 1A B
1969–1997 AAA AA A B
1958–1968 AA A B
1945–1957 A B
1944–1945 single classification
1942–1943 A B
1934–1941 single classification
1931–1933 A B
1923–1930 single classification


League alignments

The WIAA is divided into nine districts that represent approximate geographical areas.[8] 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.[8] Conference and League alignment is determined annually. The following are league alignments as of 2011-2012 school year and are subject to revision to adjust for the 2012-2014 reclassification.

Northwest District One

The Northwest Interscholastic Activities Association[9] governs WIAA District 1,[8] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

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, 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.[15]

Yakima Valley District Five

The Yakima Valley District includes schools in south central Washington. The schools are divided into six leagues.

North Central District Six

Northeast District Seven

Greater Spokane District Eight

District 8 includes one league of schools in and around the city of Spokane. The Greater Spokane League was formed in 1925 as the Spokane City League and became the GSL in 1976.[16] 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 2 different leagues; 4A and 3A to create space for more crossover games with other leagues. University H.S. also moved up to 4A [17]
*Central Valley Bears
*Gonzaga Prep Bullpups
*Ferris Saxons
*Lewis & Clark Tigers
*Mead Panthers
*University Titans
*Mt. Spokane Wildcats
*North Central Indians
*Rogers Pirates
*Shadle Park Highlanders


Southeast District Nine

Neighboring states


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mission & Purpose
  2. ^ "4.0.0 Classification of schools". WIAA Handbook. 2012–2013. p. 5. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Classifications 2014-16". WIAA. January 27, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Classifications 2012-14". WIAA. January 23, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Classifications 2010-12". WIAA. January 24, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b WIAA Classification Opt-Up Second Opportunity Form
  7. ^ "Classifications then and now". WIAA. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c WIAA Districts & Leagues
  9. ^ Northwest District 1 website (
  10. ^ Northwest Interscholastic Activities Association (Northwest District 1) Handbook 2010-2011
  11. ^ Western Conference Guidelines 2010-2011
  12. ^ Cascade Conference Handbook 2010-2011
  13. ^ Northwest Conference Handbook 2010-2011
  14. ^ Northwest B League Constitution
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The League of Champions - League Info - League History". Greater Spokane League. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  17. ^ Ralley, Dan (Jan 6 1997) Reclassification Sets Off Scramble in State High SchoolsSeattle PI. Retrieved 15 Mar 2010
  18. ^ "The League of Champions". Greater Spokane League. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 

External links

  • Official website
  • WIAA History
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