The Virginia High School League has ruled out playing football this fall as it considers three options for scheduling student activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The executive committee will reconvene July 27 to adopt a plan.
While the fate of fall sports isn’t yet known, the committee suspended the July-August dead period, allowing schools to continue out-of-season practice activities.
The three models under consideration are:
Model 1 – Leave all sports in current season. Low and moderate contact risks sports that would be allowed to play are golf and cross country. High risk sports that would not be played are field hockey, football, volleyball, and cheer. Fall activities that would be allowed is theatre.
Model 2 – Switch Fall and Spring seasons. Low and moderate contact risk sports that would be allowed to play in the fall are track and field, tennis, soccer, baseball, and softball. High risk sports that would not be played are boys/girls lacrosse. Spring activities that would be allowed are theatre, forensics/debate, and film festival
Model 3 – Delay all sports and adopt a Condensed Interscholastic Plan, leaving all sports in the season where they are currently aligned. Season 1 (winter) would run Dec. 14 to Feb. 20 with the first contest on Dec. 28; Season 2 (fall) would run Feb. 15 to May 1, with the first contest on March 1; Season 3 (spring) would run April 12–June 26, with the first contest on April 26.
“It’s important to remember that in all these models playing sports in the high risk category depends on being out of the current Phase III guidelines. All our efforts will continue towards advocating for the opening of sports and activities in a safe and reasonable way that will protect athletes, activity participants, coaches, officials, and the public,” stated VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun. “The VHSL will continue making judgments based on the best available information and directives provided by the Governor, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).”
Over the next week, committee members will reach out to school representatives across the commonwealth to gather input.