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Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Steve Walts said Wednesday night that no spectators will be allowed to attend any of the in-county athletic contests for the winter sports season. But Walts said the season is still on schedule to begin next month.

Walts made his comments at the Prince William School Board Meeting.

The winter sports season opens Dec. 7 with basketball practice. The first day teams can participate in events is Dec. 21.

High school students are allowed to compete, while still attending school virtually. Students in grades seventh, eighth, 10th, 11th, and 12th would begin returning Feb. 2. Pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners returned to in-person learning last week.

The number of permitted spectators was reduced from 250 to 25 starting Monday at 12:01 a.m. after Gov. Ralph Northam issued a state-wide measure Nov. 13 to decrease in-person gatherings following a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The Virginia High School League said the 25-person total does not include the athletes, coaches or officials for that event.

The City of Manassas’ Osbourn High School also will not have fans at its home events for the winter sports season.

Manassas Park High School is still moving forward with a winter sports season. Activities director Dan Forgas said he will meet with the school board Dec. 7 and talk more about Manassas Park’s athletic plans. At this point, no decision has been made whether Manassas Park will allow home fans for games.

The seven-member Class 3 Northwestern District, which includes Manassas Park and Brentsville, had already voted to prohibit visiting fans from attending games for the winter sports season. Some district schools have decided to not allow any fans. Manassas Park High School remains virtual until an in-person return date of Feb. 16.

Manassas Park has gone back to only outside conditioning workouts after allowing indoor workouts starting in October.

The Cougars will play a 13-game basketball schedule. Twelve of the games will be home and away against the other six district opponents. The 13th game is against Osbourn.

Forgas said that Manassas Park’s first home game will also serve as Senior Night instead of holding the traditional ceremony at last home game of the season. Manassas Park switched the dates just in case the basketball season does not finish and there’s no way to honor the seniors.

John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries has made no decision yet regarding fans for its home contests. But the school does plan to have a winter sports season.

Loudoun County Public Schools will not allow spectators either.

The VHSL's regular-season, regional and state tournament schedule is below for the winter sports season. 

Season 1 – Winter Sports

Activity

Number of Contests

MPR

First Practice

First Contest

Region Start

Region Deadline

VHSL Semi-Finals

VHSL Finals

Basketball

14

8

12/07

12/21

02/08

02/13

02/16

02/20

Gymnastics

6

8

12/14

12/28

02/01

02/06

NA

02/12-13

Indoor Track

6

8

12/14

12/28

02/01

02/06

NA

02/13

Sideline Cheer

NA

20

12/14

01/06

NA

NA

NA

NA

Swim & Dive

6

8

12/14

12/28

02/03

02/06

NA

02/13

Wrestling

8

8

12/14

12/28

02/01

02/13

NA

02/18-20

David Fawcett is the sports editor for InsideNoVa.com. Reach him at dfawcett@insidenova.com

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