Virginia releases sport-specific Phase 3 guidelines for the return of high school sports

No competition will happen until Virginia exits Phase 3

ROANOKE, Va. – Virginia’s high school athletes now have a clearer understanding of what will be allowed while Virginia is in Phase 3.

On Friday, the the Virginia High School League, released revised guidelines for the return of sports, which included Phase 3 guidiance, something that was missing when similar guidelines were released last month.

This comes after VHSL decided earlier this week to delay the start of the sports season until mid-December.

The list of sports and activities is still divided into three main categories, lower, moderate and high infection-risk activities, but there are a few changes

  • Gymnastics was dropped to a lower infection-risk activity
  • Cross country, track & field, were increased to moderate infection-risk activities
  • Volleyball, field hockey, soccer and basketball were increased to high infection-risk activities

A major change in Phase 3 is that team-based skill development is again allowed. This means athletes can share balls again, as long as equipment is disinfected frequently before, during and after practices.

Specifically, with regards to equipment, bats, balls, sleds, tackling dummies, batting helmets and catchers gear may be used.

Other equipment, such as wrestling ear guards, football helmets/other pads, lacrosse helmets/pads/gloves/eyewear should only be work by one person.

Also, for those celebrating during practice, high-fives, fist bumps and hugs, are no longer banned in Phase 3.


Here are some other key points from the guidelines for sports in Phase Three:

  • The total number of attendees at an outdoor practice, including coaches and players, cannot exceed 250 people or 50% of the venue’s occupancy, whichever is less
  • Staff and students should plan for daily health screenings
  • Athletes must bring their own water bottles and they cannot be shared

Scroll down to read the complete guidelines:

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