LCHS_THS hoops

The Loudoun County Raiders and the Tuscarora Huskies compete in a Dulles District boys' basketball tournament game during the 2019-2020 season. The 2020-2021 varsity basketball season is scheduled to tip off Dec. 21.

The Virginia High School League Executive Committee voted 33-0 Thursday to adopt the 'Championships + 1' schedule under the Condensed Interscholastic Plan for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Winter sports practices will start in December, with varsity basketball teams hitting the court Dec. 21 for the first games of the 2020-2021 season. Fall sports will be contested March 1 through May 1 and spring sports are set for April 26 through June 26.

"We have received invaluable input from our school communities, parents and students who say the physical and mental health benefits of getting our students back to a level of participation is extremely important," VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. "Billy" Haun said. "The Championships + 1 schedule will provide sports in all three seasons."

The executive committee voted in July to delay the start of the high school sports season until December due to COVID-19. The VHSL also adopted the Condensed Interscholastic Plan at that time, which enables all sports to be contested in shortened seasons.

The 'Championships + 1' schedule allows varsity teams to play 60% of a normal regular season, followed by regional and state competitions for teams or individuals that qualify and advance.

The plan calls for baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball to hold regional playoff games, with one team from each region advancing to the state semifinals in all six classifications.

All other sports -- competition cheer, cross country, golf, gymnastics, swimming, track and field and wrestling -- will have a regional competition (meet or tournament), followed by a state competition.

The varsity football season, which normally starts in late August, is scheduled to kick off Feb. 22. Teams will have seven potential dates -- Feb. 22, Feb. 27, March 5, March 12, March 19, March 26 and April 2 -- to play six regular-season games.

"We are in unprecedented times in which we have been forced to create a temporary new normal," Haun said. "We understand this plan, or any plan, will not meet the expectations for those wanting a normal fall, winter and spring sports season. This plan, however, will allow student-athletes and academic activity participants the opportunity of having a season and playing for a state championship."

VHSL 'Championships + 1' schedule

Season 1: Winter sports

Basketball (14 contests; practice starts Dec. 7; contests start Dec. 21; region competition Feb. 8-13; state competition Feb. 16-20)

Gymnastics (6 contests; practice starts Dec. 14; contests start Dec. 28; region competition Feb. 1-6; state competition Feb. 12-13)

Indoor Track (6 contests; practice starts Dec. 14; contests start Dec. 28; region competition Feb. 1-6; state competition Feb. 13)

Swimming (6 contests; practice starts Dec. 14; contests start Dec. 28; region competition Feb. 3-6; state competition Feb. 13)

Wrestling (6 contests; practice starts Dec. 14; contests start Dec. 28; region competition Feb. 1-13; state competition Feb. 18-20)

Season 2: Fall sports

Competition Cheer (3 contests; practice starts Feb. 4; contests start March 1; region competition April 5-10; state competition April 17)

Cross Country (6 contests; practice starts Feb. 15; contests start March 1; region competition April 12-17; state competition April 23-24)

Field Hockey (10 contests; practice starts Feb. 15; contests start March 1; region competition April 12-17; state competition April 20-24)

Football (6 contests; practice starts Feb. 4; contests start Feb. 22; region competition April 7-17; state competition April 24-May 1)

Golf (8 contests; practice starts Feb. 15; contests start March 1; region competition April 12-15; state competition April 19; state competition (girls) April 21-26)

Volleyball (12 contests; practice starts Feb. 15; contests start March 1; region competition April 12-17; state competition April 20-24)

Season 3: Spring sports

Baseball (12 contests; practice starts April 12; contests start April 26; region competition June 14-19; state competition June 22-26)

Lacrosse (9 contests; practice starts April 12; contests start April 26; region competition June 14-19; state competition June 22-26)

Soccer (10 contests; practice starts April 12; contests start April 26; region competition June 14-19; state competition June 22-26)

Softball (12 contests; practice starts April 12; contests start April 26; region competition June 14-19; state competition June 22-26)

Tennis (10 contests; practice starts April 12; contests start April 21; region competition May 20-June 5; state competition June 7-13)

Outdoor Track (9 contests; practice starts April 12; contests start April 26; region competition June 14-19; state competition June 18-19)

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