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H.S. Sports: VHSL votes to push fall sports, including football, to March

H.S. Sports: VHSL votes to push fall sports, including football, to March

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For the first time in more than 100 years, public high schools in Virginia will not have a fall football season in 2020.

The Virginia High School League made the historic decision Monday when the VHSL Executive Committee voted during a video conference to postpone its upcoming fall sports season until March because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Scheduled fall sports — football, volleyball, golf, cross country, field hockey and competitive cheer — will be contested from March 1 through May 1 as part of a condensed VHSL calendar for all its 2020-21 athletics:

Season 1 (basketball, wrestling, swimming, indoor track and field) — Dec. 14-Feb. 20 with first contest date Dec. 28.

Season 2 (football, volleyball, golf, cross country, field hockey, competitive cheer) — Feb. 15-May 1 with first contest date March 1.

Season 3 (baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, outdoor track and field) — April 12-June 26 with first contest date April 26.

In March, the VHSL canceled its Class 6, 5, 4, 3 and 1 state basketball championship games and later canceled all spring sports after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam closed the state’s schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

VHSL executive director Billy Haun offered three models for rescheduling sports to the executive committee when it last convened July 15.

None included a possibility of a fall football season:

Model 1 — Leave all sports in their normal seasons as originally scheduled with golf and cross country the only sports allowed to compete:

Model 2 — Switch fall and spring sports except lacrosse and soccer, which are deemed “high risk.”

Model 3 — Delay all VHSL sports but allow each sport to play a condensed season between Dec. 28 and June 26.

No other model was presented for a vote Monday and the Executive Committee — composed primarily of school superintendents, principals and athletic directors from throughout the state — voted 34-1 for Model 3.

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