The Virginia High School League sent out a news release Tuesday stating that it is working on plans to possibly have fall athletics and activities in the upcoming season.
The news release states that to ensure all compliance with possible state directives from Gov. Ralph Northam, the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the reopening of schools in the fall, the VHSL is developing plans for fall athletics and activities by putting the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, student-activity participants and supporters first.
The release states that the reopening of sports will only occur in accordance with the governor’s directives on when to return to school, when schools can return to practice and when schools can return to competition.
The VHSL staff will continue to meet regularly with region superintendents, principals, athletic directors and the VHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. The release states that the VHSL staff will begin meeting with Coach Advisory Committees of fall sports to develop reopening plans. The VHSL is drawing input to provide answers to how and when sports can return. The goal is to develop plans for multiple scenarios related to start dates, safety measures for resuming practices, regular season schedules and state playoffs for fall sports.
“What we have been doing and will continue to do is to strongly advocate for our student-athletes for a reopening of fall sports and activities,” VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun states in the release. “We know much has been taken away from our students by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to advocate for them and the return of high school athletics and activities. It is important to say, and many already have, as we develop plans there are more questions than answers. Because of that, we cannot put a timeline on when decisions will be completed and announced to the public until many of those questions become answerable.
“We continue to fully support our Governor’s directives, work with advisory groups, government agencies, other states, and medical experts to come up with a safe and sound plan to implement sports and activities for the fall.”
The 2020 spring season was canceled on March 13, just two days before regular season games were supposed to start. On May 7, the VHSL officially ended any hopes for a season after it had considered playing some spring games over the summer. The VHSL Executive Committee is supposed to meet again on June 25 to talk about teams being allowed to practice in July and the upcoming fall season. Football and golf practice are scheduled to start on July 30 with volleyball and cross country slated to begin Aug. 3.