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Virginia high school sports league announces condensed sports seasons

Football would resume next ye in a condensed season. Here's what the plan looks like.

RICHMOND, Va. — High school football in Virginia will not be played this fall as schools continue to adust to reopening efforts amid the pandemic, the Virginia High School League announced July 15.

The league, which sanctions interscholastic play for the more than 250 high schools in Virginia, laid out three different scenarios for sports to resume. While VHSL voted on a final plan July 27, none of the three scenarios include football being played this fall.

VHSL voted on a model that would allow for a condensed plan that lets schools resume shorter seasons beginning December 14. That would mean football could return with six-to-eight games and a playoff season next year. Under that model, football would likely see a start date in February.

The VHSL Executive Committee meeting in special session Monday voted (34-1-0) to move forward with Model 3 in its re-opening of sports and activities for the 2020-21 school year. Model 3 delays all VHSL sports and activities until December 14 and adopts the Condensed Interscholastic Plan. This model leaves all sports in the season where they are currently aligned.

Here's what it looks like:

Model 3 – Condensed Interscholastic Plan.

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. 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,” said VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun. “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.

“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.

RELATED: Here's what has changed in Phase 3 of Virginia's reopening

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