Sports classification to change next year


Blaine High School sports teams should have a better chance at earning winning records next school year.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) just updated its classification for 2020-2024 and after an appeal from Blaine High School administrators, Blaine will become the largest 1A school in the state.

Blaine High School spent the past six years as one of the smallest 2A schools after being bumped up from 1A for 2014-2015.

When WIAA originally reclassified schools for 2020-2024 earlier this month, Blaine had about nine too many students for the 1A classification. The classification is based on enrollment in ninth through 11th grades and determines which schools Blaine competes against in sports.

Since, on average over the past year, Blaine has had six to 16 students in its Alternative Learning Experience homeschool partnership program, and those students count toward Blaine’s enrollment numbers, the Blaine school district decided to appeal WIAA’s classification.

“Those students are not really in the building but were factored into our count,” said Blaine school district superintendent Christopher Granger.

Blaine High School administrators thought that 1A classification would make Blaine more competitive and improve participation numbers. The decision to appeal wasn’t strictly to make Blaine a better sports school, Granger said.

“We’re hoping to be more competitive and we’re hoping to see some participation levels increase,” he said. “Data shows that students who are connected to any sort of extracurricular program tend to have better academic outcomes.”

The WIAA approved the appeal on January 26, Granger said, and starting in fall 2020, Blaine will compete in the 1A division.


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