Baumgartner, Kuderer introduce legislation to put WIAA under state oversight, expand state basketball playoffs

Today, Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, and Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, introduced legislation to put the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association under state oversight.

“Right now there’s no clear oversight for the WIAA,” said Baumgartner, Republican leader of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. “I’ve heard from countless parents that there is no transparency in their decision-making process. This bill ensures that parents will have a voice when key WIAA decisions are made and that there is public accountability in the process.”

“It is important for rules to be clear and consistently applied across all interscholastic programs,” said Kuderer. “My hope is that this bill brings transparency and accountability to an institution that is publicly funded.”

Baumgartner’s bill would place the WIAA under the oversight of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The bill also would restore a 16-team state tournament format for high school basketball that would be held over consecutive days and played in the same city or county.

“Going to the state basketball tournament is a special opportunity for students and communities. It’s important that the field being able to participate be restored to an expanded 16 teams,” said Baumgartner.