Decision on Virginia High School Sports on Horizon; Short Seasons Possible


Decision on Virginia High School Sports on Horizon; Short Seasons Possible

How Virginia will handle its high school sports season during COVID-19 is scheduled to be determined on Monday, when the Virginia High School League (VHSL) holds a meeting. With Virginia’s decision looming, states around the country have gone different directions with their decisions. Some have opted to move ahead with their fall seasons while others have postponed the start of fall sports or canceled the fall season altogether. Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland have already axed the fall and winter seasons.

The VHSL has three options on the table. The third model has an impact on swimming as it is designed to have winter sports start in mid-December, with the season ending in February. At that point, fall sports would be played, followed by spring sports. In this model, all seasons would be compressed, with the Richmond Times-Dispatch reporting that schedules would be about 60% of the norm, and postseason tournaments or competitions could be shortened or eliminated.

The first model would leave all sports in their current seasons, but only allow those deemed low risk and moderate risk to be played. Those sports include cross country and golf. Meanwhile, football, volleyball, field hockey would not be played. The second model involves a flip of the fall and spring seasons, but again with the caveat that only low-risk and moderate-risk sports would be played. Sports given the green light would be track and field, baseball, softball, soccer and tennis. Lacrosse would be sacked.

The model that has received the most support is the third option, since it provides an opportunity for all sports to be played, albeit in compressed fashion.

“We have to remember nothing is going to be normal,” said Bill Haun, the Executive Director of the VHSL, according to the Times-Dispatch. “At some point, we have to be grateful to have the opportunity to do anything, to play anything. There’s going to have to be some concessions made. The schedules may not be how we want them, who we’re going to play, how we’re going to play. But if we can get our kids on the field and participate and have the opportunity for physical and mental health to help them out and be social, provide those opportunities, I think we have to look at that and grasp that and take what we can get and make the best of what we’ve got.”

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