The purpose of the WIAA Coaching Standards program is to enhance the training of student-athletes by assuring that their coaches maintain a certain level of professional development throughout their careers.
A coach is required, prior to the beginning of his/her third year of coaching, to 1) complete the ASEP Coaching Principles Course from ASEP.com OR 2) complete the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching course OR 3) participate in at least thirty (30) hours of activities, courses or programs that provide some level of professional development for the coach. After achieving this, paid member school coaches are required to maintain a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of professional development activities each three year period following the initial two year cycle. Individuals who graduate from an accredited college or university with a P.E. or coaching major or minor (or hold a P.E. endorsement on his/her teaching certificate) are exempt from the initial 30 hour requirement.
In addition to meeting the above requirements, each coach must also maintain a current CPR/First Aid card (and Red Cross Safety Training for Swim Coaches), a Washington State Patrol criminal background check, be 21 years of age if head coach, 19 years if assistant coach, and attend a WIAA/WOA Rules Clinic if a high school varsity head coach.
WIAA only maintains standards in terms of the number of hours required; beyond that it is up to the administration of the member schools to determine which activities qualify toward the 30/15 hour marks (aside from the aforementioned Coaching Principles Course, which automatically qualifies for the middle level mark and counts toward initial or continuing high school standards). The types of activities that are typically qualified toward the coaching hours requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
- WIAA Rules Clinics
- League Coaches Meetings
- Chemical Awareness Training
- Sports Psychology Courses
- CPR/First Aid Training
- In-School Coaching Staffing
- WIAA/School Policy Review
- Injury prevention/rehab course
- Sport Specific Clinics
- Liability Training
- Coaching roundtables
- Motivation training
Each year, every WIAA member school is required to file with the WIAA office an overview of compliance for each coach, paid and volunteer, that coaches for that school. Each coach is required to maintain his/her own records of activities taken to meet the hour requirements and provide a copy of such documentation to the school for compliance records.
Each school must have at least 80% of its coaching staff in compliance with the above-stated requirements in order for that school to meet WIAA compliance. Each school must also provide a plan to attain 100% compliance. For schools not in compliance, a progressive penalty is incurred. For full text of the WIAA regulations regarding coaching standards, click on the "Coaches and Officials" section of the WIAA Handbook.