The National Federation of State High School Associations provided guidance this week for state high school associations to consider in reopening high school athletics and activities. The Virginia High School League is a member of the NFHS.
The NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee -- a 15-member committee consisting of medical doctors, certified athletic trainers, high school coaches and officials, research specialists and state high school association executives -- developed a 16-page guidance document (available here).
"We believe this guidance document will be a tremendous resource for our member state associations as they determine the timetables for reopening sports and activities," NFHS executive director Dr. Karissa Niehoff said in a prepared statement.
"The NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee utilized recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Niehoff continued. "As well as some return-to-play considerations by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, in formulating this guidance document for re-opening athletics and other activities in our nation’s schools."
The VHSL announced last week that out of season practice and all activities this summer are cancelled until further notice. Earlier this week, the VHSL issued a release stating that it is developing plans for the reopening of fall athletics and activities.
"What we have been doing and will continue to do, is to strongly advocate for our student-athletes for a reopening of fall sports and activities," VHSL executive director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun said in a prepared statement. "We know much has been taken away from our students by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to advocate for them and the return of high school athletics and activities."
The VHSL notes that its staff meets regularly with region superintendents, principals, athletic directors and the VHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. VHSL staff will begin meeting with Coach Advisory Committees of fall sports to discuss developing reopening plans.
Practices for fall sports (cheer, cross country, field hockey, football, golf and volleyball) normally begin in late July or early August. The VHSL says its goal is to develop plans for multiple scenarios related to start dates, safety measures for resuming practices, regular season schedules and state playoffs for fall sports.
"We continue to fully support our Governor’s directives, work with advisory groups, government agencies, other states and medical experts to come up with a safe and sound plan to implement sports and activities for the fall," Haun said.