After wrapping up the high school winter sports season this past Sunday, spring athletics are scheduled to begin in just a few weeks.
The 2020 spring high school sports season was completely wiped due to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting.
The Vermont Agency of Education released the 2021 spring sports program with updated information.
In the guidance, it states all players, coaches, officials, staff, and fans should complete a health check before arriving at practices, scrimmages, games, or competitions.
School programs are permitted to begin coach-led practice sessions with skills and socially distanced drills no earlier than April 5. The limited exception is only for baseball pitchers and catchers to begin coach-led practice sessions on March 29.
Face coverings are still a requirement. It states that two-ply facial coverings are required to be worn by all players, coaches, officials, staff, and spectators at all times. Fans are limited to 150 spectators and schools can limit the amount of fans at each game.
Teams are permitted to initiate games, meets and competitions no earlier than April 17.
The guidance added a new requirement that any athlete that is diagnosed with COVID must be cleared by a physician. “All children and adolescents (ages 12- 22) diagnosed with COVID-19 infection, regardless of symptom severity, may not return to play until asymptomatic and evaluated and cleared by their primary care physician.”
Similar to the fall sports season, officials discourage unnecessary physical contact, such as high fives, handshakes, fist bumps or hugs between athletes and coaches.
Sports permitted to participate this spring include baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, and ultimate frisbee.
The high school winter sports season ended with multiple teams being forced to cancel their seasons and opt out of the playoffs due to COVID outbreaks within programs.