One day after Gov. Ralph Northam closed down Virginia public schools for the remainder of the academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the VHSL Crisis Management Team met via conference call to discuss its options.
“While we recognize the importance sports has on our students and communities, the COVID-19 threat is real and people need to follow all the regulations and recommendations from the CDC, Virginia Department of Health and the governor. We must make that our number one priority,” VHSL Executive Director Dr. Billy Haun said in a release. “The Crisis Management Team overwhelmingly felt a decision on an extension to the spring sports season should be put on hold until May. Any options for the spring sports season will require that COVID-19 is no longer a threat and poses no health risks to our student-athletes or the public.
“This is extremely serious and a lot has to happen before May for us to extend the season. In every situation, every decision we make has been, and will be, made in the best interest of our student-athletes and public safety.”
Some of the topics discussed Tuesday regarding the extension of the spring sports timeline included:
• The VHSL Executive Committee would need to provide a one-time waiver allowing teams to practice and play during the first week of July, which is a sports dead period for the league.
• The Executive Committee would have to approve a revision of published dates for the end of the spring season.
• Students would have to have a new physical examination by July 1 and parents would be required to certify that their student-athlete has insurance.
• Should any games be played in the summer, there would be no 2020 VHSL champions recognized in any spring sport.
• Students entering college and taking summer classes that are not part of dual enrollment would be in violation of the enrollment/bonafide student rules.
• No athlete signing a professional contract would be eligible to participate.