VHSL Votes To Delay Sports Until December, With Condensed Seasons

By 
Jonathan Schwab

 

Monday, July 27 – The Virginia High School League Executive Committee announced its athletic plan for the upcoming school year, voting to delay the start of sports until mid-December, with condensed seasons for each team. The decision is intended to allow more time for the state to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the cancellation of this year’s spring season.

Meeting in special session in a video conference, the VHSL Executive Committee voted 34-1 to move forward with the third model presented in its July 15 meeting. In this model, each team will play about 60 percent of its normal regular season, with winter sports starting Dec. 14 and going until Feb. 15, with Dec. 28 as the first competition date. Those sports include basketball, indoor track and field, swimming and wrestling.

Fall sports – football, volleyball, golf, cross country and cheerleading – would start Feb. 15 and go until May 1, with March 1 as the first competition date. Spring sports – baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis and track and field – will start April 12 and go until June 26, with April 26 as the first competition.

Explaining the decision, VHSL executive director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun said, “We all understand the physical and mental health benefits of getting our students back to a level of participation. The Condensed Interscholastic Plan leaves open the opportunity to play all sports in all three seasons if Virginia moves beyond Phase III and/or Phase III guidelines are revised and high risk activities are allowed. This plan also allows schools the opportunity to open the year and get school started and deal with issues such as schedules, academic plans, transportation, dealing with possible outbreaks of [COVID-19] in the school.”

“The VHSL will continue to work closely with the best available information and directives provided by the Governor, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE),” Haun added.

For the full story, please see our July 29 newspaper.