VHSL reinstates out-of-season practice activities

June 15, 2020

The VHSL has announced that schools may begin out-of-season practices beginning Monday, June 15. The current plan as well as any future plans will directly align with Gov. Northam’s “Virginia’s Return to School Plan”.

“I think spring sport coaches are going to be more eager to get back on the field because we completely missed out on our seasons,” Central athletic director and head baseball coach J.W. Salyers said via text message. “I’m looking forward to seeing the players on a consistent basis because that aspect got taken away in March.”

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 (VDOE) 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,” said VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun. “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. Conditioning and acclimation will be critical as coaches and athletes prepare for the upcoming fall season,” continued Haun.

“We are excited the VHSL has announced the reopening of coach/player workouts,” Eastside athletic director and boys’ basketball coach Patrick Damron wrote. “However, we have a huge task ahead as we try to navigate our new normal.”

The VHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) 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.

“Obviously, everyone is excited to hear the news from the VHSL. There are several steps we still need to take before we can return to activities. We immediately began working to complete those. We are hoping to get our student athletes back to work as soon as possible,” Ridgeview athletic director and softball coach Kent Grant texted.