CHARLOTTESVILLE. – In accordance with the Governor Ralph Northam's  “Virginia’s Return to School Plan” announced on Tuesday, the Virginia High School League's (VHSL) Executive Committee has cleared the way for schools to begin out-of-season practice activities Monday, (June 15).

By a majority vote taken Wednesday, the Executive Committee reinstated the Out-of-Season Practice Rule 27-7-1 and suspended the Summer “dead period” for all athletic teams during the week of June 29 through July 4.

Franklin County High School Principal Jon Crutchfield is the chairman of the Executive Committee.

This change only applies to 2020, the VHSL said.

In compliance with the Governor’s plan,  before any out-of-season activity can begin, all schools must submit health plans to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) outlining compliance with Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mitigation strategies.

“The VHSL Executive Committee believes that getting students back into some level of education-based activities will be supportive of their physical and mental health and well-being,”  VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun said.

“Allowing students and coaches the opportunity to begin out-of-season extra-curricular activities and athletics will allow school communities the ability to begin moving in a positive direction,'' Haun said.

“Our student-athletes have been out for over three months. Conditioning and acclimation will be critical as coaches and athletes prepare for the upcoming fall season,” Haun said.

The VHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) is completing work on the VHSL Guidelines for Reopening Sports/Activities. The committee is finalizing the document to ensure it is in alignment with guidelines released by the Governor’s “Return to School Plan” as well as the VDH and the CDC, Hahn said.

Any decisions moving forward will be made in compliance with the Governor’s orders and will continue to be made with the best interest of our student-athletes. Safety will always be our number one priority, Hahn said.

Editor's Note: Mike McCall is the Director of Communications with the Virginia High School League.

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