VHSL Football (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)
A VHSL plan for a season and a post-season for each sport is now on paper
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
On Monday, the VHSL announced that they have a draft proposal ready for the upcoming Winter, Fall and Spring schedules for high school athletics and activities. The release called the plan a “Championships + 1” schedule.
“I want to be clear that this work session was not intended to produce a final plan. The purpose of the work session was to provide a draft to the Executive Committee for the FY2021 sports and academic season and for the process of building a plan for regular season and postseason,” said VHSL Executive Director, Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun. “The various staff meetings with coaches, athletic directors, principals, and superintendent representatives discussed at length the challenges, including health, safety, and financial considerations of implementing any schedule options.
“We appreciate the hard work and feedback our region athletic directors, coaches, principals, and other representatives provided to our staff during region meetings and through our coaches advisory committees. Our newly formed Student Advisory Committee also provided invaluable feedback as well. The VHSL is fortunate to have a dedicated group of school administrators and coaches who are working tirelessly during these unprecedented times on behalf of all students, as we plan for athletics and academic activities for the upcoming year.”
For football, the dates were released for practice to start on Thursday, February 4. Programs would likely get two weeks of practice and a week of preparation for their first game, which would fall on Friday, February 26. The regular season would last six weeks. Regional playoffs would start as early as Wednesday, April 7 and region champions would be determined by Saturday, April 17. State semi-finals would take place on April 24 and the state championship games would be played on Saturday, May 1.
That schedule would give football programs a six-game regular season and as many as ten games if they make it to the state championship game. This schedule would also result in a playoff field that’s half the size of the current field (losing what used to be the opening round). A six-game regular season would make it very hard to have a valid power rating structure, and scheduling has not been addressed yet.
In a district like the Beach District where 11 teams play a ten-game round-robin schedule with few exceptions, there’s no way to schedule all of the teams against each other in a season. Even the Eastern District, the smallest in Hampton Roads, you couldn’t have a complete round-robin schedule that includes all eight teams playing each other.
For Basketball, the first practice would be on December 7. The season would start two weeks later on December 21. Teams would have six weeks to play 14 regular season games. The regional playoffs would start on February 8 and would be finished by February 13. The semi-finals would be played (or start) on February 16 and the state championships would be played (or start) on February 20.
The full calendar as planned for all athletics and activities can be seen in the graphics below.
– Andy Hilton
Editorial note: At a glance, it appears to be unclear how this is a +1 concept.