VPA shares fall high school sports guidelines, no traditional football this fall

Sports

VPA Executive Director Jay Nichols spoke at Gov. Phil Scott’s press conference Tuesday morning. It’s confirmed there will be high school sports this fall. Nichols outlined the guidelines and precautions.

The first date of practice is tentatively set for Tuesday, September 8th. This is the planned first day of the 2020 in-person school year.

The VPA Activity Standards Committee voted to waive the 10 day “no contact” period for this year. As a result, students may continue to participate in summer activities up to the beginning of the school year.

Football will not be played as the traditional 11-on-11 game. Full-contact football games are out of the question. The VPA is aiming for 7-on-7 touch football. Teams are only allowed low contact practice and skill development. The same rules are required for cheerleading as well, stunting is not allowed but sideline socially-distanced cheering is allowed.

All sports will be required to wear face coverings with the exception of cross country running. All athletes, officials, coaches, and fans must wear a face covering. A maximum of 150 people are permitted at outdoor events. Social distancing guidelines must be followed and all public restrooms and concessions must be properly sanitized.

Volleyball is permitted to practice indoors but games must be played outdoors. There’s not a set decision on what surface volleyball teams will be playing on yet.

The Vermont Agency of Education officially sent guidelines regarding the fall sports season:

During times when athletes are not actively participating in practice or competition,
appropriate physical distancing should be maintained. Teams should structure team meetings
to limit congregation and ensure physical distancing between players on the sidelines or
benches.

During competition, alter spacing of players, coaches, officials and staff to achieve physical
distancing to the greatest extent possible.

Equipment and other supplies touched by participants must be thoroughly cleaned and
disinfected regularly. Student-athletes must follow no spitting on the field or sideline and no sharing of water bottles.

“We’re having masks in school and we feel sports should be included as well.” said Gov. Phil Scott

Guidelines for school-based winter sports programs will be published by October 15, 2020.

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