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Virginia High School League postpones fall sports

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia High School League has voted to postpone fall sports until the winter and spring because of reopening restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, the League’s executive committee voted 34-1 to play all sports between December and June, effectively canceling the fall football season, news outlets reported.

League Executive Director Billy Haun said high-risk sports couldn’t be played until the state moved out of reopening Phase Three or until restrictions such as social distancing and group limitations were loosened.

Under current guidelines, low-risk sports such as golf and baseball could be played but having those sports in the fall would create logistical and financial issues, especially because ticket sales, which provide leagues with funding, would be limited or non-existent.

Committee Chairwoman Shannon Butler said the group also agreed that since some school districts, including Henrico, Chesterfield, and Richmond, were starting the fall with remote learning, having students come into school for sports would be a questionable decision.

Fall sports are tentatively scheduled to start practice on Feb. 15, with opening games beginning March 1. Offseason workouts can occur. Dates are subject to change.

The executive committee plans to hold a meeting addressing the postseason on Aug. 24.

“Normal doesn’t exist,” Haun said. “The VHSL will continue to work closely with the best available information and directives provided by the Governor, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Education.”