The Virginia High School League Executive Committee voted to apply a condensed schedule in the reopening of high school sports on Monday, including moving all fall sports back to spring.
The Executive Committee voted 34-1-0 to move forward with Model 3, which will delay all sports and activities until December 14 and adopt the Condensed Interscholastic Plan.
The model will see winter sports, including swimming & diving, run Dec.14-Feb.20, fall sports run Feb.15-May.1, and spring sports go Apr.12-Jun.26.
- Season 1 (Winter): December 14 – February 20 (First Contest Date – December 28)
- basketball, gymnastics, indoor track, swim/dive, wrestling
- Season 2 (Fall) February 15: May 1 (First Contest Date – March 1)
- cheer, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, volleyball
- Season 3 (Spring) April 12: June 26 (First Contest Date – April 26)
- baseball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field
“We all understand the physical and mental health benefits of getting our students back to a level of participation,” said VHSL Executive Director Billy Haun in a press release. “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 in the school.”
Delaying fall sports until mid-February creates an especially-big conflict for a sport like volleyball, which has a very distinct high school season in the fall and club season in the spring.
“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 said.
The VHSL officially cancelled the 2020 spring sports season on March 20 and the end of the 2019-20 campaign on May 7. One week later, all offseason and summer activities were cancelled.
On June 22 the league issued guidelines for a return to sports.
As the beginning of school years across the country draw nearer, high school state associations are rolling out decisions about fall sports across the country this week.
- California announced on Monday that it would push all of its sports until after the conclusion of the fall semester.
- Florida has announced that it will move forward with its fall sports seasons, which includes swimming & diving, as planned. Many schools and districts have balked, with some, like swimming power Pine Crest School, canceling their fall seasons, and others, like Miami-Dade County, threatening to leave the FHSAA altogether.
- The GHSA in Georgia announced via a 12-0 vote that it would postpone football by 2 weeks, while other sports remain on schedule. That means that the football regular season will begin September 4 instead of August 21. After an 8-4 vote against remaining on schedule, Jasper Jewell, a member of the board and the athletic director of Atlantic Public Schools, said he was afraid that his district might cancel fall sports altogether if the season wasn’t delayed. That, and other discussions, wound up pushing unanimous support toward a two-week delay.
- South Carolina and North Carolina both postponed their fall high school sports schedules until September last week. South Carolina also has a very early State Championship meet, scheduled for early October.
- Michigan announced that it would plan to begin fall sports as usual, which includes girls swimming & diving. Practices for all fall sports besides football can begin August 12. The school has remained open to the possibility of having to suspend those sports during the season, at which point they’d be rescheduled for later in the year. Indoor pools in Michigan are still not open.
- Washington pushed all fall sports to the spring semester.