VHSL Pushes All Sports to Delayed, Shortened Seasons


On Monday, July 27th, 2020 the VHSL executive committee decided that all sports would be held off until December. They discussed several different plans including the following three options:

Model 1: Leave all sports in the current season. Low contact risks sports that would be allowed to play are golf and cross country. High-risk sports that would not be played are field hockey, football, volleyball, and cheer. Fall activities that would be allowed include theatre.

Model 2: Switch Fall and Spring seasons. Low and moderate contact risk sports that would be allowed to play in the fall are track and field, tennis, soccer, baseball, and softball. High-risk sports that would not be played are boys/girls lacrosse. Spring activities that would be allowed are theatre, debate, and film festival. 

Model 3: Delay all sports and adopt the Condensed Interscholastic Plan. Leave all sports in the season where they are currently, but do them later. The schedule for model 3 is Season 1 (Winter) December 14 – February 20 (First Contest Date – December 28),  Season 2 (Fall) February 15 – May 1 (First Contest Date – March 1), and  Season 3 (Spring) April 12 – June 26 (First Contest Date – April 26).

In the end, they decided to go with Model 3.

For clarification, fall sports consist of football, cheer, field hockey, cross country, golf, and volleyball. Winter sports are basketball, track, and field (indoor), swimming and diving, wrestling. Spring sports consist of  lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, baseball, and track and field.

Like everything, there are more than two sides to this, some people think we should have had sports like normal, and others like the plan we have set up.

Coach of the football team, Coach Travis Buzzo said this, “I believe the VHSL will approve this plan. I just hope the VHSL allows these kids to play if they choose to. As the coach, I know nothing is set in stone and this plan can be revised and changed, but this football team will be ready when and if we ever get the go-ahead.”

Ms. Stacy Laine, a math teacher and swim coach, said “Sports being canceled until December was a smart move.  It is way better to err on the side of caution and get to have a season, though shortened, then go ahead and have it all be canceled.  I know that practices can be done safely and protocols are already in place for swimming!  I am excited to start drylands soon in small groups and start getting in shape for our short season.  I also think variety is the spice of life, and adapting to these changes will only make us stronger PEOPLE which is the whole point of sports, isn’t it?”

Not all involved have the same opinion. A current senior, Michelle Borja said “I’m mad and sad because this is my senior year and I wanted to do cheer competitions and enjoy the last moments with my team. We should have had sports with some precautions such as temperature checks and masks. Other sports outside school are still on, which would make it fair that school sports are on too.”

It seems Michelle Borja and wrestling Coach Joe Divello have similar opinions on what should have been done. “I wholeheartedly believe that kids should still be playing sports and participating in school activities.  At the very least I believe that student-athletes should be given the choice and option to participate, rather than be left with no power to control their destiny and pursue their passions.  In athletics, one of the worst phrases to be associated with is ‘giving up,’ and while I appreciate the unique situation the VHSL and other sports associations around the country find themselves in,  it’s a shame that the message seems to be less about developing a solution to PLAY and more about giving up,” Coach Joe Divello explained. 

In the end, the decision was up to the VHSL executive committee and they chose to go with model 3, they thought it would be the safest with everything going on. The vote was 34-1, and that was when any chance at sports starting this season was gone. When asked why they went with model 3, they said it was the best option with the pandemic still going on.

With model 3, all sports will be covered. With plans 1 and 2, this would not have been the case. No plan is perfect, and there are some difficulties with model 3. One of the problems is overlapping seasons, as the fall and spring sports are most likely to overlap. Another problem is shortened seasons; there won’t be as many games, meets, and competitions. However, so long as athletes keep practicing in the off-season, we are sure to have a great year in sports.