By Matthew Yoder —
For the first time in over 100 years, high school teams will not take to the
gridiron this fall for football. For that matter, no sports will be played until
the close of 2020, following the Virginia High School League’s decision made
By a margin of 34-1, the committee, which is made up of school superintendents,
principals, and athletic directors from across the commonwealth, voted to adopt the third of three potential models for the return of competitive sports. Model 3 delays all three
seasons of high school sports but keeps intact the potential for all sports to be played, albeit with condensed seasons and still resting on Virginia exiting Phase Three guidelines.
The decision was made during a video conference, and the hope seems to be the delay will allow time for schools and teams to make the proper adjustments, rather than jump into a tumult of uncertainty, both logistically and medically.
The condensed season will kick off Dec. 14, with basketball, wrestling, swimming, and indoor track and field leading the way. The first contests for these sports will be Dec. 28, and the season will conclude Feb. 20.
Football reemerges in February, along with volleyball, golf, cross-country, field hockey, and competitive cheer. The first contests for this season will be held March 1 and span two months.
Baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, and outdoor track and field overlap slightly in this new model, with games starting April 26. If all goes as planned, the 2020-21 season will conclude June 26.
It’s important to note that while this decision represents the state of high school sports moving forward, progress with the more “high-risk” games will still be contingent on existing, and/or the revision of Phase Three guidelines outlined by the governor and the Virginia Departments of Health and Education.