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VHSL releases sport-specific guidelines for the return of high school sports

Sports, activities broken into lower, moderate and high infection-risk activities

ROANOKE, Va. – High school athletes now have a better look at what sports will look like.

On Friday, the Virginia High School League, the governing body of high school athletics in Virginia, released its 9-page guidelines for the return of sports.

While it gives sport-by-sport specific guidelines for what sports will look like in Phase Two, everything for Phase Three remains, “to be determined.”

VHSL divides sports and activities into three main categories, lower, moderate and high infection-risk activities.

  • Lower infection risk activities: Cross country, track and field, swimming, golf, tennis, forensics/debate, scholastic bowl and e-sports
  • Moderate infection risk activities: Volleyball, field hockey, gymnastics, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, theatre and robotics
    • With appropriate cleaning of equipment and use of face coverings, volleyball, baseball, softball and gymnastics could be considered lower infection risk
  • High infection risk activities: Football, wrestling, boys and girls lacrosse, competition cheerleading and music

In addition to activity-specific guidelines, guidelines for facilities cleaning, entrance/exit strategies, pre-workout screenings, face coverings, hygiene, hydration, travel, locker rooms, weight rooms and equipment are given as well.

Here are a few key points from the guidelines for sports in Phase Two:

  • Conditioning and individual drills are allowed at football practice; however, contact with other players is not allowed.
    • Also, protective equipment is banned
  • The same basketball cannot be touched by different people
  • The total number of attendees at an outdoor practice, including coaches and players, cannot exceed 50 people or 50% of the venue’s occupancy, whichever is less
    • For indoor practices, the same venue occupancy is decreased to 30%
  • Staff and students should plan for daily health screenings
  • Athletes must bring their own water bottles and they cannot be shared
  • High-fives, fist bumps and hugs should not be allowed
  • Each player will have to have his or her own ball in volleyball practice

Scroll down to read the complete guidelines:


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