The Virginia High School League announced Tuesday it would delay any decision regarding the spring sports season until May.
The VHSL canceled all spring sports Monday in coordination with Gov. Ralph Northam’s order to close schools across the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the VHSL’s Monday announcement, it left the door open for some semblance of summer competition — a prospect to be discussed during a Tuesday conference call with the Crisis Management team.
After deliberating, that group “unanimously recommended” delaying any summer option until May, according to Tuesday’s release.
“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,” VHSL Executive Director John “Billy” Haun wrote in the 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.”
Tuesday’s release also included a series of hypothetical situations regarding what a summer extension would look like.
Most prominently, the VHSL said no 2020 champions would be recognized for spring sports.
Additionally, student-athletes would be required to have a new physical beginning July 1, and the VHSL Executive Committee would need to provide a one-time waiver to allow teams to practice and play during the summer. Any student-athletes signing a professional contract (primarily for baseball) would not be eligible, and neither would students entering college and taking summer classes that are not part of a dual-enrollment situation.
“This is extremely serious, and a lot has to happen before May for us to extend the season,” Haun said in the release. “In every situation, every decision we make has been, and will be, made in the best interest of our student-athletes and public safety.”
Parker Cotton is a sports reporter at the Martinsville Bulletin and Danville Register & Bee. You can reach him at (276) 638-8801 ext. 215. Follow @ByParkerCotton.