210202-yh-sports-prp-practice-4.jpg

Selah High’s football team wears face coverings as they begin practice Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, at Karl Graf Stadium in Selah, Wash.

Three days after high school sports in the Yakima Valley took another gut punch, they’re suddenly back in business.

The South Central region — which includes Yakima, Kittitas and four other counties — was moved into Phase 2 on Sunday after a revision in hospital admission data showed the region met enough of the metrics in the state’s Roadmap to Recovery to advance out of Phase 1.

The region was the lone to remain in Phase 1 in Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement Thursday.

Because it’s classified low-risk and held outdoors, cross country was the lone fall sport that could compete in Phase 1. The rest of the autumn lineup — football, volleyball, girls soccer and girls swimming — can hold games, matches and meets in Phase 2.

The WIAA set Feb. 1 to March 22 as the season for fall sports in its revised schedule, but individual schools, leagues, districts and regions can move seasons with approval from the WIAA Executive Board.

The CWAC was the lone Valley league that decided to start Feb. 1, and was set to host a pair of cross country meets Saturday — the first local high school events in 11 months — before wintry weather returned last week.

The SCAC chose Feb. 8 as its start date, while the Class 2B EWAC selected Feb. 15 and CBBN pegged Feb. 22, respectively.

Spring sports are slated for March 15 to May 2 with winter sports set to finish the revised scheduled April 26 to June 13. The WIAA flipped the two seasons because all spring sports can hold competitions in Phase 2 while basketball and wrestling are classified high-risk and indoors, necessitating a Phase 3 designation for games and matches.