By Brian Hoffman
Due to the rapidly changing landscape regarding COVID-19 and in an effort to support VHSL member schools and school divisions, the Virginia High School League(VHSL) Crisis Management Committee decided the spring sports season will be delayed for at least two weeks, and most likely much longer.
The original spring sports first play date was scheduled for Monday, March 16, of this week. The Outdoor Track championships, Tennis Championships, and the VHSL Spring Jubilee are as yet not affected by this delay and all championships are still scheduled on their original dates. The Crisis Management Committee will meet again Wednesday, March 25, to re-evaluate current conditions.
“After continuing to assess the impact of COVID-19 we convened the VHSL Crisis Management Committee and it was decided that the best course of action and most prudent at this time was to delay spring sports first play date by two weeks,” said VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun. “ The VHSL continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 and will continue discussions with public health officials and key stakeholders.”
Last Saturday morning Dr. James Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction for Virginia, provided clarification to school superintendents that during the two weeks that Virginia’s public schools are closed all school-sponsored activities, including athletics and practices, are not allowed.
“While some stakeholders in Virginia will be unhappy with the decision to not allow athletic practices, we need to support our Governor and State Superintendent,” said Haun. “These actions were taken to protect Virginians, keep them safe and healthy and to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In perspective, we are looking at the overall health of the Commonwealth versus two weeks out of our high school athletic season.”
At this point, the entire spring sports season has not been cancelled. However, it’s an ever changing situation.
“Everyone clearly understands the dedication and commitment thousands of parents, coaches and student-athletes have made preparing for this season,” said Haun. “I am sure college and professional athletes feel the same way as their seasons have been suspended or cancelled. In two weeks, state leaders will evaluate the situation and provide direction for our schools.”