Pull out the GPS and plot a course – Whatcom County football, girls soccer, volleyball and girls swimming teams now know what it’s going to take for them to reach the postseason.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board this week approved district allocations for the next two years for fall sports, allowing the Northwest District to finalize its postseason qualification process.
The WIAA distributes allocations to its nine districts statewide based on the number of teams playing each sport in each classification within each district, and with the start of a new classification cycle starting this school year, those numbers had to be set again. Though the current cycle is scheduled to be four years, the allocations released this week are just through the 2017 fall season.
Boys’ tennis allocations, as is always the case, will not be released until the spring, when participation numbers from all nine districts is available. Cross country also had not been released as of Wednesday, Sept. 28, as accurate team numbers from each district were still being compiled.
Here’s a look at what allocations the Northwest District received and what to expect once the postseason rolls around this fall:
Football (four berths in 2016, three in 2017): As of Thursday, Sept. 29, the Northwest District is still in discussions with the state and other districts over what the postseason process will be for 3A teams, Squalicum athletic director Patrick Brown said.
Girls soccer (four berths in 2016, three in 2017): Ferndale and Squalicum will advance to the 11-team district tournament if they have a winning record in Northwest Conference play and finish among the top six teams in the league. The top finisher among the two receives an automatic berth into the eight-team, double-elimination quarterfinals, while the lower seed must play in one of three single-elimination first-round games Oct. 27. The tournament wraps up Nov. 5 at Shoreline Stadium.
Volleyball (four berths in 2016, three in 2017): The district tournament is set up in the same format as girls soccer, with this year’s first-round elimination games Oct. 27 and the district championship game Nov. 5 at Marysville-Pilchuck.
Girls swimming (four berths in 2016, three in 2017): The district championships will be Nov. 4-5 at the Snohomish Aquatic Center. The top four finishers in each final, plus any other swimmers or relays to swim a state-qualifying mark during the season, advance to state.
Football (combines with Sea-King District, four berths in 2016, three in 2017): The top four teams in the Northwest Conference will cross over and play the top four teams from the Cascade Conference, Wesco and KingCo, based on a mathematical weighting system, in Week 10 (Nov. 4-5) for berths into state. In 2017, the top three NWC finishers advance to Week 10, and the fourth-place team will be lumped into the pool of teams from the southern leagues, and the mathematical weighting system will be used to determine which teams advance to the bi-district playoffs.
Girls soccer (combines with Sea-King District, three berths in 2016, four in 2017): The bi-district will utilize its new mathematical weighting system to seed the top 12 teams into the bi-district tournament. The top four seeds will receive byes to the Oct. 29 double-elimination quarterfinals, while the remaining eight teams will play single-elimination first-round games Oct. 27 to join them. The bi-district championship game and third-place game will be Nov. 5 at Liberty.
Volleyball (combines with Sea-King District, three berths in 2016, four in 2017): The bi-district tournament will follow the same format as girls soccer, with this year’s first-round elimination games on Nov. 1 and the tournament wrapping up Nov. 5 at Mountlake Terrace.
Girls swimming (combines with Sea-King District, three berths 2016-17): The bi-district championships will be Nov. 4-5 at Fidalgo Pool in Anacortes. The top three finishers in each final, plus any other swimmers or relays to swim a state-qualifying mark during the season advance to state.
Football (two berths in 2016, three in 2017): The top two finishers in the 1A NWC this year will cross over and play the top two finishers from the Cascade Conference for berths to state in Week 10 (Nov. 4-5). In 2017, the top three teams in each league will cross over.
Girls soccer (combines with Sea-King District, fourth berths in 2016, five in 2017): District and bi-district brackets have not been posted, but Nooksack Valley athletic director Tom Harmon said the format will follow what’s been done in recent years: the top three 1A NWC finishers will advance to the Northwest District tournament and face the top three 1A finishers from the Cascade Conference. The district tournament champion will receive an automatic berth to state and play for a top seed out of the bi-district, while the second- through fourth-place finishers advance to the bi-district tournament and will play for the remaining berths to state.
Volleyball (combines with Sea-King District, four berths 2016-17): The district and bi-district tournament will follow the same format as soccer.
Football (combines with Sea-King and West Central and Southwest districts, eight berths in 2016, six in 2017): Brackets have not yet been posted, but Lummi athletic director Jim Sandusky said the quad-district playoff format will resemble last year’s, where the top four teams, including the top team in the Northwest District, received byes to the first round of state. The remaining eight teams then played Week 10 games for the quad-district’s final four berths to state.
Volleyball (combines with Sea-King and West Central district, six berths in 2016, five in 2017): Brackets have not yet been posted, but Sandusky said it would follow last year’s format, where the top five finishers in the Northwest District tournament advanced to the eight-team, double-elimination tri-district tournament.