Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (W.I.A.A.)

Lee Bjella, 2015



"The WIAA Hall of Fame is designed to honor individuals and or teams/programs that have made contributions or accomplishments to high school sports and activities that deserve statewide and historical recognition." The first WIAA Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on April 21, 2004 at the Seahawk Stadium Club Restaurant. For Gymnastics, Sehome High Schools Gymnastics Program was inducted.


Sehome High School Gymnastics
Sehome High School has sponsored women's gymnastics for thirty-four years and has established itself as a dominant gymnastics program on a state and national level. Sehome holds the NFHS National High School record for the most team state gymnastic championships (23) and the record of the most consecutive team state championships, winning 13 titles between 1973 and 1985.

Sehome won its first state title in 1973 and continued with 13 straight state championship seasons. The Sehome gymnastics program suffered its first state competition loss in 1986, but in 1987 they began another winning streak. From 1987 to 1993, the Sehome gymnastic program won seven consecutive state championships, a mark that is the sixth best streak within the national high school records. After 1993, the Sehome girls gymnastic program won four more state championships bringing the total to twenty-three. The gymnasts at Sehome have won a total of thirty-two individual state championships in the following events: three vault, eight uneven bar, four balance beam, ten floor exercise, and seven individual All-Around titles. The Sehome teams under Nola Ayres, coach for 25 years, compiled a 384-1 dual meet record and the Mariners, at one point in history, had an overall record of 402-8." (From the 2004 WIAA State Gymnastics Championship Program.)

A brief overview of WIAA through 1999

* Not very good records before 1925, but it seems the schools were concerned about athletics, and that after 1900 this organization was formed. A three-man board ran it. They were registered with the National Federation in 1920.
* In early 1925 eight members were chosen from eight districts to create the rules for the Association. A month later that number increased to sixteen, and the Board was increased from three to eight.
* 1936 WHSSAA joined the National Federation.
* 1950 Henry DeYoung became the Executive Secretary. Offices were located in the Lloyd Building in Seattle.
* 1958 WHSAA became WIAA.
* 1964 Offices moved to the WEA Building in Seattle.
* 1967 Regulations for girls' athletics were added.
* 1971 Offices were moved out near Lake Sammamish in Bellevue. The Board was increased from eight to ten members. Assistant Executive Secretary for Girls' Sports was also added.
* 1974 An Officials Association for Girls' Sports was added.
* 1977 Representative Assembly grew to thirty-five members.
* 1980 Became nonprofit and incorporated.
* 1981 WIAA Districts were reduced from ten to nine. The Executive Board membership remained at ten with one member at large elected from the west side. The title of Executive Secretary was changed to Executive Director.
* 1982 After 21 years of service to the schools of the State of Washington, Henry E. Rybus retired as Executive Director receiving the National Federation's highest service award.
* During the 1982-83 school year WIAA "piloted" the catastrophic insurance coverage plan for the member school districts of Washington State. The plan was offered nationwide the following year.
* In the summer of 1983 WIAA hosted the 64th National Federation Annual Conference.
* In 1984, softball and soccer associations and boards were added to the Washington Officials Association. Additional state tournaments added in 1984 were: "AA" Girls' and Boys' Soccer; "A/B" Softball; "AA" Boys' and Girls' Swimming; and "A/B" Tennis.
* Following the 1977 pioneering of the multi-championship football games of the "Kingbowl", WIAA offered the nation's first concurrent basketball tournaments in one facility at the Tacoma Dome in 1985, and added a second "AA" tourney in 1988.
* "Project High Five" and the academic achievement recognition program were initiated by the WIAA Board during 1984.
* The October of 1985, Washington hosted the Annual National Federation Sections seven and eight meeting.
* In 1987, Cheerleading became a WIAA sanctioned activity. Theatre and Drama was added in 1988, and Dance/Drill in 1990.
* US Bank was the corporate sponsor of WIAA State Tournaments from 1987 through 1996.
* In 1988 the "AA" and "AAA" classification returned to the 16-team basketball tournaments after 25 years of regionals. State tournaments for "B" Softball and "A/B" Golf were added in 1987.
* Beginning July 1, 1988, after three years of study, the Washington Officials Association (WOA) and WIAA member schools entered into an unprecedented agreement with the Washington State Labor and Industrial (L&I) Department to assure workers compensation insurance coverage for all WOA Officials.
* In 1989, Boys A/B Soccer and a separate Girls' A/B Golf Tournament were added and Mat Classic I took place in the Tacoma Dome.
* WIAA Schools named student "Dreamers and Doers" to the national Disney sponsored program starting in 1989-90. In 91-92 the program was discontinued, and the WIAA/ALPAC/7-UP/Hugh McElhenny scholarship was inaugurated for "Believers and Achievers".
* John Olson joined the Executive Staff as WIAA's first legal counsel in 1990.
* WIAA Executive Director Cliff Gillies was elected to and served as the National Federation President for 1990-91. That same year the sportsmanship recognition medallions were introduced at the state tournament contests.
* The 1992 Spring Sports State Championships were first held statewide at three sites: Tacoma area (AAA), Spokane area (A/B), and Washington State University (Pullman area) (AA). AA/AAA Track (Startrack) and A/B State Track Meets remained at their traditional sites of Tacoma Lincoln Bowl and Eastmont High School. This was the state's first Springfest.
* The Expulsion/Suspension Rule was adopted in 1992.
* The State Board of Education adopted by resolution on May 29, 1990, qualificaton standards required for all interscholastic coaches by the school year 1994-1995. These standards were proposed by Representatives of School Directors, Superintendents, Principals, Athletic Directors, Coaches, and WIAA. The standards were also required of Cheer coaches and Dance/Drill coaches beginning in 1996.
* In 1992 WIAA's first fast pitch softball tournament for AAA, AA and A was held for those schools who elected to play fastpitch instead of slowpitch.
* In 1993 Executive Director Cliff Gillies retired. Mike Colbrese, Director of the Wyoming State Association, is selected as fourth director of the WIAA.
* The 1996 Representative Assembly added a 5th classification of schools and a separate Middle Level Representative Assembly, to become effective beginning in 1997-98.
* At the end of July, 1999 the Association moved from its offices in Bellevue to the former Renton School District Administrative Offices. The move nearly doubles the office space available to the Association.