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The VHSL has updated its  “Guidelines for Return to Participation – 2nd Edition” for school divisions.

This second edition provides further guidance for Virginia's schools to run activities safely for individual sports and activities.

The second edition “Guidelines for Return to Participation” includes updates for competition cheer, sideline cheer, boys and girls lacrosse, soccer, tennis and scholastic bowl.

In addition, new documents were added in the Appendix including the Governor’s Executive Order Sixth Amended Number 67, Spaulding and Wilson Sport Ball cleaning recommendations and a chart for the “Interim Guidance for Return to Play after COVID-19 Infection (Ages 12-21 Years)” produced by the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The VHSL also addressed the impact of Gov. Ralph Northam’s new statewide measure to contain COVID-19, specifically the reduction from 250 to 25 spectators for in-person gatherings, will have on VHSL sports and activities.

The reduction in public and private gatherings to 25 individuals applies to “spectators” and does not include participants at those events. The Governor’s order defines “participants” as players, coaches, officials, school event staff and school administration critical to the operations of the contests, media, law enforcement and medical services.

Cheerleaders, pep bands etc., and other student support groups, are counted as spectators in the limit of 25 allowed at events.  

Amended Executive Order 67 emphasizes that the total number of spectators cannot exceed the lesser of 30 percent of the occupancy load of the certificate of occupancy for the venue, if applicable, or 25 spectators per field. Races or marathons may have up to 250 participants, provided staggered starts separate runners into groups of 25 or less.

Conduct screening of coaches, officials, staff, and players for COVID-19 symptoms prior to admission to the venue/facility.

School board members, superintendents and other school division staff also attended the 2020 VSBA Virtual Annual Convention Nov. 18-20. Attendees chose from over 30 education sessions to attend throughout the Convention and one of the choices was presented by VHSL Executive Director Dr. Billy Haun from the Virginia High School League.

Dr. Haun was chosen to present out of over 50 proposals for the VSBA Annual Convention. The presentations lasted one hour with a live Q&A to give attendees the opportunity to learn more about the program.

“I appreciate the opportunity to address VSBA members on a state-wide stage to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on VHSL athletics and activities, and to explain our 'Championships +1 model,'" Haun said.

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