CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) -- The Virginia High School League will hold off on a final decision on extending spring sports until May, the organization announced Tuesday.
The VHSL held a conference call Tuesday morning with its crisis management team to discuss all options relating to spring sports and academic activities after the current academic year ends and into the summer.
That crisis management team unanimously voted to table discussions until May.
“While we recognize the importance sports has on our students and communities, the COVID-19 threat is real and people need to follow all the regulations and recommendations from the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, and the Governor. We must make that our number one priority,” VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun said in a news release. “The crisis management team overwhelmingly felt a decision on an extension to the spring sports season should be put on hold until May. Any options for the spring sports season will require that COVID-19 is no longer a threat and poses no health risks to our student-athletes or the public."
Haun went to on to call the situation "extremely serious" and said that a lot has to happen before May for the VHSL to consider extending the season.
The VHSL also released the following Frequently Asked Questions and Answers related to a possible extension of the spring season:
• Currently, the first week of July is a total dead period. Would schools be allowed to sponsor events? The VHSL Executive Committee would need to take action and provide a one-time waiver to allow teams to practice and play.
• How would the Amateur Rule affect student-athletes who would want to participate in an extended season? Any athlete signing a Professional contract (Baseball has its draft and signing in the second week of June) will not be eligible.
• Currently, the VHSL calendar has the Spring Sports seasons ending in June. Would holding practices and playing games in July be a violation of the Sports Season Rule? Yes. The Executive Committee will need to approve a revision of the published dates for the end of the Spring Season.
• Will student-athletes have insurance if practices and games occur in July? Risk and Insurance Statement on the Physical/Participation Form. Parents are required to certify that the student athlete has insurance and respond to the following statement: The participant has student medical/accident insurance available through the school (yes___ no ___); has athletic participation insurance coverage through the school (yes___ no___); is insured by our family policy. Students will be required to have a new physical beginning July 1 and parents will certify on the new form.
• Will students who have graduated meet Enrollment/BonaFide Student Rules? Students entering College and taking summer classes that are NOT part of any dual enrollment situation are no longer in high school which would violate both these rules.
• Will 2019 – 2020 student (PPE) physical forms be effective for students to participate in July? June 30 is the expiration date for the PPE (14 months of coverage). Students will be required to have a new physical beginning July 1.
• If any games are played during the summer, will there be a state champion recognized for the 2020 season? The answer is no. If there is an option to allow games to be played, there will be no 2020 VHSL Champions recognized for spring sports.