VHSL releases new information in response to school closings

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Photo from VHSL.org

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) logo.

Oziel Valdez, Editor

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) held a conference the morning of March 24 to discuss the available options regarding spring sports and academic teams, including ones that go into summer. In this conference, VHSL unanimously decided to delay any final action until May 2020.  

“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,” said VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun in a released message.  “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.”

In addition to this, VHSL discussed other obstacles they would run in during school being closed due to COVID-19. They released a FAQ regarding certain topics. Here is what they released: 

  • Currently, the first week of July is a total dead period.  Would schools be allowed to sponsor events?  The VHSL Executive Committee would need to take action and provide a one-time waiver to allow teams to practice and play.
  • How would the Amateur Rule affect student-athletes who would want to participate in an extended season? Any athlete signing a Professional contract (Baseball has its draft and signing in the second week of June) will not be eligible.
  • Currently, the VHSL calendar has the Spring Sports seasons ending in June.  Would holding practices and playing games in July be a violation of the Sports Season Rule?  Yes.  The Executive Committee will need to approve a revision of the published dates for the end of the Spring Season.
  • Will student-athletes have insurance if practices and games occur in July? Risk and Insurance Statement on the Physical/Participation Form. Parents are required to certify that the student athlete has insurance and respond to the following statement: The participant has student medical/accident insurance available through the school (yes___ no ___); has athletic participation insurance coverage through the school (yes___ no___); is insured by our family policy. Students will be required to have a new physical beginning July 1 and parents will certify on the new form.
  • Will students who have graduated meet Enrollment/BonaFide Student Rules?   Students entering College and taking summer classes that are NOT part of any dual enrollment situation are no longer in high school which would violate both these rules.
  • Will 2019 – 2020 student (PPE) physical forms be effective for students to participate in July?  June 30 is the expiration date for the PPE (14 months of coverage). Students will be required to have a new physical beginning July 1.
  • If any games are played during the summer, will there be a state champion recognized for the 2020 season?  The answer is no.  If there is an option to allow games to be played, there will be no 2020 VHSL Champions recognized for spring sports.
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