CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Virginia High School League (VHSL) addresses the impact of Governor 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.
According to Amended Executive Order 67 guidelines for recreational sports which emphasizes that sports activities are permitted but must comply with the following requirements:
a. 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.
b. Conduct screening of coaches, officials, staff, and players for COVID-19 symptoms prior to admission to the venue/facility.
Winter sports are scheduled to start practices and contests in December.
Basketball will start practice December 7, while indoor track, swimming and wrestling starts December 14.