The Virginia High School League announced Friday that spring sports for its member schools will be pushed back two weeks as communities try to combat the coronavirus.
Spring sports for public school athletes in the Shenandoah Valley were set to start on Monday. VHSL executive director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun announced that after meeting with the VHSL crisis management committee, spring sports will now begin March 30.
“After continuing to assess the impact of COVID-19, we convened the VHSL Crisis Management Committee and it was decided that the best course of action and most prudent at this time was to delay spring sports’ first play date by two weeks,” Haun said in a statement. “The VHSL continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 and will continue discussions with public health officials and key stakeholders.”
During the two-week delay, school divisions can authorize practice schedules for their teams. Games not played because of the delay or because of a school division’s decision not to allow travel, will not count as a forfeit.
The VHSL also noted that the VHSL Spring Jubilee, which includes the outdoor track and field and tennis championships, will not be affected by the delay and all spring state championships will be played at their original dates and sites.
Forensics, debate, film festival, student leaders conference and robotics also will be delayed.
The forensics championships are postponed until Saturday, May 2 at Clover Hill High School in Richmond. The state debate championships are planned for April 24-25 at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. In addition, regions and super regions have been encouraged to postpone scheduled evens beyond published deadlines to allow schools that weren’t able to participate an opportunity to reconsider based on the new dates.
Deadlines for submissions for the film festival are extended to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, April 8. Finalists will be announced on Friday, May 8.
The student leaders conference is still scheduled for April 24-25, but a final decision on the conference will be made by March 25. Deadline for the robotics portfolios remains Thursday, April 30 at 11:59 p.m.
In addition to the VHSL announcement, several Central Virginia private schools also announced changes to their spring sports schedule on Friday.