The 2021 Vermont high school fall sports season is scheduled to begin mid-August. Full-contact football will be making its return for the first time since November 2019. As of now, no restrictions are in place for the upcoming season. Adjustments will be made if necessary.
During the 2020-21 school year, multiple high-contact sports were modified to ensure safety and limit exposure due to COVID-19. Football was limited to 7-on-7 touch and volleyball was only permitted to play outdoors. Athletes were required to wear face masks and follow a handful of other restrictions.
VPA Associate Executive Director Bob Johnson spoke with Local 22/44 regarding the upcoming fall season. Johnson is hopeful student-athletes can get back on the field and play all the sports they love safely.
“We’re not aware of any restrictions at all. That may change between now and the middle of August. We learned that lesson a year ago. At this point, we’ve been told everything is going straight ahead with no limitations at all” said Johnson.
High school football teams are permitted to begin practice on Monday, August 16. All other fall sports may begin practicing on Thursday, August 19.
“I’m hoping that we have students coming back in droves who want to play sports. The fall was hit pretty hard last year, as was the winter season. We’re hoping we can get them back and keep the sports going” Johnson added.
The first official Friday night of high school football competition is scheduled for August 27.
Johnson shared that he thinks numbers will increase this fall season. “We saw a lot more participation this past spring than we did during the previous fall or winter seasons. This spring was essentially a normal season. I think now that we’ve gotten things under control, not 100 percent but a better amount, we’ll see more participation” said Johnson.
Johnson noted that if adjustments need to be made during the season then they will be. Until then, there are currently no restrictions and he anticipates a normal fall 2021 season.