Only regional championships will be played — if half of teams are even in competition 

  WHATCOM ­— State championships are out, regional championships are in.

  However, that will be the case only if at least 50% of the schools in each Washington Interscholastic Activities Association region are able to compete. If not, there won’t be a season to begin with and the sport will be moved to a different time.

  How’s that for certainty?

  Last week, the WIAA Executive Board approved an updated plan and timeline to account for possible changes that may occur to the athletic calendar this school year. 

   As of right now, basketball, bowling, boys swim and dive, and wrestling are slated to begin this winter if local COVID-19 metrics are being met. Other requirements vary by sport.

  Basketball and wrestling, categorized as high-risk sports, cannot start until there is a 14-day case rate of less than 25 per 100,000 people and a COVID testing positivity rate of less than 5%. As of Nov. 10 Whatcom County had a 14-day rate of 47.9, which would be out of compliance, although a positivity rate of 1.1%, within limits. 

  Unless the state regulations change, it looks like high-risk sports this winter could get moved to another season. 

  There are only seven weeks for the infection rate to show a serious decline, to get down to 25, when there has not been a trend that way so far.

  Another change is that the WIAA districts have become regions for the 2020-21 school year. For the northwest corner of the state, that means Districts 1 and 2 have been combined, Districts 3 and 4 are now a region and Districts 5 through 9 have become a region — three regions across all of Washington state.

  Only regional championships will be held at the conclusion of a season instead of district and state ones, so as to limit travel and possible transmission of COVID-19.