Virginia high schools sports get OK to start in December

Gov. Northam signed an amendment which allows VHSL’s Championship + 1 schedule to happen

High school sports in Virginia are a go!

The Championship + 1 schedule, which the VHSL approved in September, now have governmental approval to begin as scheduled, in December.

On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam signed the fourth amended Executive Order 67 which includes changes to Section 12 related to recreational sports.

That change will allow high school sport to begin in December as scheduled.

“Keeping our student-athletes safe is critical during this pandemic,” said Northam. “I know I join many parents in looking forward to the safe return of school sports. VHSL has been a tremendous partner throughout the COVID crisis, and I appreciate the thoughtfulness and diligence they have put in development of these guidelines for returning to play.”

To help schools prepare for the upcoming seasons, the VHSL released its 2020-2021 Guidelines for Return to Participation guide which provides guidance on a sport-by-sport basis for returning to action.

The 39-page document includes recommendations for equipment, as well as for coaches and student-athletes.

VHSL is also changing the rules for some sports to prevent COVID-19 spread.

One big change will be in boys and girls lacrosse, where the face-off or the draw will not happen.

In boys lacrosse, the game will start with a coin toss to determine which team is awarded the ball at midfield to begin the game. Alternate possession will be used after coin toss. After each goal, the ball shall be awarded to the scored upon team at midfield with no player within 5 yards.

In girls lacrosse, the first possession goes to the visiting team at center, with each team alternating starts in place of draws.

Another change, in track and field, runners in relay races will be allowed to wear gloves as they hand off the baton.

The amended Executive Order did not change the number of attendees permitted at a sporting event.

That number can still not exceed the lesser of 50% of the occupancy load or 250 people.

For sports played on a field, attendees are limited to 250 people per field.

Look below to read the full guidelines:

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