The Virginia High School League unanimously voted to approve the “champion +1” sports plan for sports to start this Dec. This plan will allow teams to play sixty percent of their regularly scheduled games and play in the regional and state tournaments.
The “+1” aspect of the plan ensures that teams who do not qualify for their post-season games will still get to play an extra game. The sports seasons will start Dec. 7 and end June 26.
There were many options for what the plan could be. “The VHSL had committees that would come up with the best plan which could figure out the whole COVID stuff and then give every season an opportunity to still compete” Director of Student Activities John Ellenberger said.
“What we did not want them to do was to cancel the fall season. It would have been devastating for all of our fall teams to not be able to compete right away,” Ellenberger said. “So then the next best thing was to come up with a plan to give everyone an opportunity to still compete.”
Several precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus. “They are going to have the trainers or the coaches check in the kids individually. They will take your temperature and ask you questions about how you are feeling,” Football and Lacrosse coach William Maglisceau said.
“The balls will be sprayed down every 45 minutes or anytime someone new is going to handle it and I do not believe they are going to allow locker room access.”
Many student-athletes are excited about their upcoming seasons. “I am pretty excited and I feel good about it because it gives you a chance to get back to normal and do something instead of staying inside,” junior Jessie Brennan says. “I am not nervous because I know the coaches will take precautions and they want the best for their players.”
Students who do not participate in a sport will still be able to come to watch and support their friends at games. Leadership has organized incentives to go watch games.
“There will be a hype-squad program that will reward people points for showing up to games, supporting them, and posting on their social media if COVID restrictions allow,” senior leadership member Natalie Nguyen says. “We are still trying to work out how the points are going to work due to COVID.”
Students and coaches combined find it important for sports to happen. “It gives kids an opportunity to get out of the house,” Brennan says. “It also keeps them in shape and gives them a chance to make new friends.”
With the sports seasons drawing near, Brennan, like many other athletes is counting down the days until she can play again.