VHSL reinstates out-of-season practice activities
In alignment with Gov. Ralph Northam’s “Virginia’s Return to School Plan” announced on Tuesday, June 9, the VHSL Executive Committee has cleared the way for schools to begin out-of-season practice activities beginning Monday, June 15.
By a majority vote taken on Wednesday, June 10, the executive committee reinstated the Out-of-Season Practice Rule 27-7-1 and suspended the summer “dead period” for all athletic teams during the week of June 29-July 4. This applies only to 2020.
In compliance with the governor’s plan, it is important to note that before any out-of-season activity can begin, all schools must submit health plans to the Virginia Department of Education outlining compliance with Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mitigation strategies.
“The VHSL Executive Committee believes that getting students back into some level of education-based activities will be supportive of their physical and mental health and well-being,” VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun said. “Allowing students and coaches the opportunity to begin out-of-season extracurricular activities and athletics will allow school communities the ability to begin moving in a positive direction.
“Our student-athletes have been out for over three months,” Haun added. “Conditioning and acclimation will be critical as coaches and athletes prepare for the upcoming fall season.”
The VHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee is completing work on the VHSL Guidelines for Reopening Sports/Activities. The committee is finalizing the document to ensure it is in alignment with guidelines released by the governor’s “Return to School Plan” as well as the VDH and the CDC.
“Any decisions moving forward will be made in compliance with the governor’s orders and will continue to be made with the best interest of our student-athletes,” VHSL officials said. “Safety will always be our No. 1 priority.”