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Virginia won't have high school football in the fall

Virginia won't have high school football in the fall

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RICHMOND, Va. — Football won't be played this fall in Virginia, but the state's High School League has given itself more time to decide the fate of fall sports.

In a virtual meeting today, the league’s executive committee determined it would vote July 27 on one of three models:

1) Leave all sports, except those that are high-risk, in their current seasons. Sports considered low- and moderate-risk in the coronavirus pandemic, such as golf and cross country, would be allowed to play. Football, field hockey, volleyball and cheer would not be permitted.

2) Switch the fall and spring seasons. Low- and moderate-risk sports allowed to play in the fall would be baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, and track and field. Boys and girls lacrosse, considered high-risk, would not be played.

3) Start play in mid-December with winter sports, followed by fall sports and spring sports, all in compressed seasons. Winter sports (basketball, gymnastics, indoor track, swimming and diving, and wrestling) would start on Dec. 14 and run until Feb. 20. Fall sports (football, competition cheering, cross country, field hockey, golf and volleyball) would run from Feb. 15 until May 1. Spring sports (baseball, softball, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, and track and field) would run April 12-June 26.

The committee also voted to allow offseason practices to continue.

During a June meeting, the league also postponed a decision, saying it wanted to buy more time with so many unknowns: COVID-19 data, social distancing guidelines, how schools will open and other issues.

Those haven’t provided much clarity. Coronaviruses cases in Virginia are increasing slightly, mostly in the eastern part of the state; physical distancing and limits on crowds remain in place for indoor and outdoor sports; and some school districts still haven’t announced plans for bringing students back to school. The Richmond School Board decided Tuesday to have fully virtual learning in the fall instead of in-person instruction.

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