Governor Northam’s latest restrictions won’t stop the VHSL’s plan to start next month

Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s latest coronavirus restrictions will not impact the Virginia High School League’s return to sports.

On Friday, Northam announced all public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals. The current cap is 250.

However, the 25-person limit applies to the number of spectators allowed to watch the sports and not the competitors.

“We want to make it very clear that the governor’s order for reduction in public and private gatherings to 25 individuals applies to 'spectators’ and not participants at those events,” VHSL Executive Director Billy Haun said in a release. “Nothing in the order prevents VHSL member schools from holding contests.”

The VHSL is scheduled to restart sports Dec. 7 with the first basketball practices. The first games can occur on or after Dec. 21.

The decision to move forward with sports is still left up to each individual school division. This week, Richmond Public Schools announced it was not participating in winter sports. In Hampton Roads, Norfolk Public Schools is the only division that is unsure if it’s going to play winter sports.

“The administration has not had the opportunity to have this discussion with the board and is looking forward to doing so,” said Madeline Curott, marketing and media relations coordinator for Norfolk Public Schools.

Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News and the Williamsburg-James City County divisions said this week they are planning to play.

If the schedule starts on schedule, it will mark 284 days since the VHSL, which governs the state’s more than 300 public high schools, has held any competition. The last competition was the Class 2 state championship basketball games on March 12. The spring sports season was canceled March 20, and on May 7, the league announced the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.

Greg Giesen 757-446-2309,


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