VHSL Football (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)
The “Championships +1” plan is unanimously adopted by the VHSL Executive Committee
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
The VHSL’s Executive Committee met Thursday morning as planned and the result was a confirmation of the “Championships +1” plan that was nominated for approval weeks ago.
Earlier in the week, a rally called “Let Them Play” was organized at the State Capitol in Richmond. That rally was meant to coerce the VHSL into reconsidering their plan to push football and other fall sports into the spring.
The result of today’s announcement is that Winter Sports will open the sports and activities schedule for the 2020-2021 school year, with practices commencing on December 7. The Winter Sports season would run from December 21 to February 20. The first contest for Fall Sports would be held on March 1 with that season ending on May 1. The Spring sports season would run from April 26 into June.
“We have received invaluable input from our school communities, parents, and students who say the physical and mental health benefits of getting our students back to a level of participation is extremely important,” said VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun. “The Championships + 1 schedule will provide sports in all three seasons.
“The VHSL Executive Committee acknowledges that no plan is perfect. We are in unprecedented times in which we have been forced to create a temporary new normal. We understand this plan, or any plan, will not meet the expectations for those wanting a normal fall, winter, and spring sports season. This plan, however, will allow student-athletes and academic activity participants the opportunity of having a season and playing for a state championship.”
The plan is set to follow a 60% guideline when it comes to scheduling. For basketball, that cuts the regular season from 22 games down to 14. For Football, a ten-game regular season becomes six. The Baseball season is reduced from 20 games to 12. This reduction is applied to all sports.
Football will have 7 dates for their 6-game schedule.
1 – February 22, 2021
2 – February 27, 2021
3 – March 5, 2021
4 – March 12, 2021
5 – March 19, 2021
6 – March 26, 2021
7 – April 2, 2021
The +1 aspect of the 2020-2021 athletics schedule works like this. Teams not participating in region tournaments (the post-season) will be allowed to schedule one additional game to be played before the regional tournament would finish. For football, that means “bowl games” between non-qualifying teams while the qualifiers are in a two-round playoff to determine the regional champion in each VHSL Class. Remember that VHSL regions are assigned A, B, C and D at Class levels from 1 through 6.
For basketball, each regional tournament would consist of four teams and would be wrapped up by February 13. The state-semifinals would fall on February 13 and the state championships would fall on February 20. State championships would be played at the home site of the high school at the top of the bracket, or a suitable facility close to top seed.
The same tournament structure applies to football. That means six state championship games at six different venues, all on the same day unless something changes.
Now the schools have to build schedules based on the reduced season for all sports within the calendar that has been approved by the VHSL Executive Board.
– Andy Hilton
“Championships + 1” Condensed Interscholastic Plan
Season 1 (Winter) December 7 – February 20 (First Contest Date – December 21)
basketball, gymnastics, indoor track, swimming and diving, wrestling
Season 2 (Fall) February 4 – May 1 (First Contest Date – March 1)
competition cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, volleyball
Season 3 (Spring) April 12 – June 26 (First Contest Date – April 26)
baseball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track, and field
Academic Activities (December – June)
Theatre, Scholastic Bowl, Forensics, Debate, Robotics, Film Festival, Creative Writing, Publications Evaluation, and Multimedia Contest.