The Virginia High School League’s Executive Committee voted Thursday to cancel the spring sports season altogether for rest of the 2019-20 calendar year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The final vote was 31–0–1 with one member abstaining from voting.
The VHSL initially considered the possibility of playing spring sports in some form during the summer after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam closed all public schools in March for the remainder of the academic year.
“This extremely difficult decision was made knowing the great disappointment our student-athletes, academic activity participants, coaches, administrators, parents and their communities will experience,” VHSL executive director Billy Haun said in a news release.
“We especially grieve with those [seniors] who will not have an opportunity to represent their school or wear their school jersey one final time after years of hard work and dedication.”
Safety concerns from the ongoing threat of the virus outweighed all other considerations in deciding to cancel the spring sports season once and for all.
“Any options for the spring sports season would require that COVID-19 no longer be a threat and pose no health risks to our student-athletes or the public,” Haun said.
“Sadly, the situation has not changed and has made it impossible to have a spring season without putting people at risk.”
There have been no decisions made yet regarding the fall sports season.
“While we do have internal discussions about different scenarios, there’s nothing that we are prepared to share until there’s a clearer picture on school re-openings from the Governor,” said VHSL communications director Mike McCall.
Also on Thursday, the executive committee approved the state championship sites for next school year with one qualifier: Haun said the sites could change and move to more local venues depending on the status of the coronavirus and any mandates from Northam.