The data for this site comes from many sources:
Scanned archives of physical newspapers
League and district web sites
WIAA web site
Several high school sports data sites
Individual high schools
My own notes from games attended
Email responses from individual coaches when all else fails to find the result
Whatever else works
I made contemporary collections for 3A and 4A girls since late 1996-1997 season; adding 2A girls in 2006-2007; adding 2A 3A and 4A boys in 2012-2013; adding everybody for 2013-2014. All other data has been collected months and years later. Historical data collection is an ongoing part of this project.
Many of these sources are ephemeral. Even where the website remains extant, older data can be long since purged. However, I am surprised that research up to 20 or more years ago still finds sources for much information. It is more difficult to fill in the gaps since there may be only a single source available with coverage for a league, or even a whole swath of the state.
The structure of leagues and what constitutes a league game can be difficult to determine from a bare list of scores. For leagues I followed and collected results in that season I know the information. Some guidance is given from contemporary articles and from league standings. A data source may not include such information even if there are many game recap stories available there. So I have left some leagues as just a pile of teams. There isn't enough information to hazard a guess as to divisional structure or what the league game scheduling rationale was. Some other leagues I have made a guess as to divisions.
Over the 2016 off-season, two new data sources were introduced. Bill Pierce, long time scorebook keeper for Central Valley, gave me his Greater Spokane League data, only some of which is included herein at this time. This is very high quality data, although it lacks game dates and locations. It does have coaches names which is the most visible present addition to my collection. The data extends back to the 1920's for some boys teams. Thank you Bill. The other source is the team scorelists from archived WIAA programs, courtesy of the Cindy Adsit and members of the WIAA staff. This data fills in missing games for state qualifiers and corrects some results where I just knew the winners and losers. As with every additional data source I come across the information needs to be compared against other sources for consistency before I incorporate it into my database.
There are games in the data where the score is given as 'W-L' (as in one team Wins and the other Loses, get it?). I don't have the numeric score. Sometimes the game outcome is reported with no score. Sometimes, especially for a tournament, the advancement of a team in the bracket is the evidence for the outcome for the unreported game. Other times I have used reliable published standings to determine the outcome for league games I am missing. Reliable standings are those for which the total of league wins is the same as the total of league losses. Not every published standing meets this criterion. It is possible to reasonably guess the date and location for some missing games. I have done so where I have good confidence in the estimate. For missing league games where I can determine the outcome but haven't a clue as to schedule, I've just let the games go to the bottom of the schedule.
The seven basic data elements for a game are the two teams involved, their scores, the date of the game, the type of game it is, and the location of the game. Every source of data has errors. Every basic data element can be in error. Errors can enter the data from the outset: there has been at least one game where the two teams' scorekeepers disagree as to who even won the game.
Although I strive for accuracy, I am sure there are errors in this database. Unlike other score databases I do make corrections even if the game is decades old. Credible corrections and additions are welcome. Note that “MaxPreps says...” is not a credible correction. I have spent far too many weeks cleaning up MaxPreps data, although sometimes MaxPreps is the correct one in a disagreement between sources.