Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757
A proclamation that practice is OUT for the summer is premature
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
On Thursday, there was a Facebook rumor circulating that had the VHSL announcing the cancellation of fall sports. It’s going to happen. On Friday.
That didn’t happen.
The creator of the rumor had no grounds for spreading the word. Maybe spreading panic is entertaining for some.
On Friday, the VHSL did make an announcement, but it was only to “cancel” summer workouts and practices for high school sports programs.
Here’s the official word from the VHSL:
“The VHSL will continue to follow all protocols and guidelines issued from the Governor, CDC, and the Virginia Department of Health. At the present time this means out of season practice and all activities this summer are cancelled until further notice. The current relaxing of the Governor’s stay at home order applies only to businesses. Schools remain closed and in-school facility use is off limits.”
The press release continued: “Once the Governor declares schools can re-open and guidelines are provided for the reopening, the VHSL will work with the Executive Committee to draw up protocols and guidelines for resuming athletic activities. We ask every member school to support the Governor’s directives and the DOE during this time.”
Allow me to explain what that means and what it doesn’t mean.
It means that high school athletic programs will follow the lead of the school systems in general. Schools are closed. When schools are closed for a hurricane threat or for a snowstorm, after school activities are cancelled. This is the same kind of cancellation.
It does not mean that our current situation is permanent. The Commonwealth of Virginia is opening up in phases. At this point, workout clubs and gyms are closed. You can’t go to the YMCA to work out because the Virginia Health Department and the Governor have decided that it would be risky to exercise in a group of ten or more. That decision is regularly revisited and will be updated.
Once gyms open, we can’t guarantee that high school sports practices will be instantly approved. We just don’t know yet.
So… high school sports programs can’t hold practices or organized workouts now. That limitation holds until further notice. That doesn’t keep athletes from working out independently. All of this can change once state guidelines are updated.
The state will sooner or later announce a date for opening local workout facilities and gyms. The natural progression would be to allow high school athletic programs to train and practice together from that point or not long after.
The date could be July 1. It could be August 1. We DON’T know yet.
EDIT: An additional point to remember is that this announcement affects public school sports only. The VISAA has not announced any cancellation for private school activities.
To say that organized practices have been cancelled for the duration of the summer is completely misleading. Keep working hard. Coaches can keep their football athletes on the same page.
This fall, it will be obvious which athletes and programs followed through with hard work and organization.
– Andy Hilton