Virginia will not see high school football this fall

By Marty Gordon


The commonwealth will not have high school football this fall under any of the three options being considered by the Virginia High School League’s executive committee.

A final decision will be made by the full group on July 27. The committee has voted to delay the beginning of fall sports until that July 27 meeting and to suspend the July-August dead period for 2020, which means schools can continue out-of-season practice activities.

The committee will make a final decision on the opening of sports and activities by selecting from the following options:

Model 1 – Leave all sports in their 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. The fall activity 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. As high-risk sports, boys and girls lacrosse would not be played. Spring activities that would be allowed are theatre, forensics/debate and film festival

Model 3 – Delay all VHSL sports and adopt the Condensed Interscholastic Plan.  Leave all sports in the season where they are currently aligned: Season 1 (winter) Dec. 14 – Feb. 20 (first contest date – Dec. 28); Season 2 (fall) Feb. 15 – May 1 (first contest date – March 1); Season 3 (spring) April 12 – June 26 (first contest date – 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,” said VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun. “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.”

“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).” said Shannon Butler, VHSL executive committee chairwoman and principal at York High School

“The goal in all our discussions has been to provide our student-athletes and activity participants the best opportunity to return to the playing fields, courts, tracks and stages during this school year in as safe an environment as possible,” Butler said. “Our decision will allow members of the executive committee to collaborate with the regions and groups that they represent to make a decision on July 27 that is in the best interest of our students; moving forward. Our ultimate goal would be to give all of our student-athletes the opportunity to safely represent their schools on the playing field during the 2020-2021 school year.”



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