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VHSL making plans to reopen fall athletics

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) is developing plans for the reopening of fall athletics and activities.

A VHSL press release from Tuesday, May 19, said that these plans were being made by putting the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes, student-activity participants, coaches, administrators, officials and supporters first.

Officials stated in the release that in all instances, reopening will only happen in accordance with Gov. Ralph S. Northam’s directives on when to return to school, when schools can return to practice and when schools can return to competition.

VHSL staff continues to meet regularly with region superintendents, principals, athletic directors and the VHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the release noted.

“VHSL staff will begin meeting with coach advisory committees of fall sports to discuss developing reopening plans,” officials said in the release.

“What we have been doing, and will continue to do, is to strongly advocate for our student-athletes for a reopening of fall sports and activities,” VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun said in the release. “We know much has been taken away from our students by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to advocate for them and the return of high school athletics and activities.

“It is important to say, and many already have, as we develop plans there are more questions than answers. Because of that, we cannot put a timeline on when decisions will be completed and announced to the public until many of those questions become answerable.”

He stated in the release that the VHSL continues to fully support the governor’s directives and is working with advisory groups, government agencies, other states and medical experts to come up with a safe and sound plan to implement sports and activities for the fall.