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The Virginia High School League announced Monday morning that it will not require athletes to wear masks in games and practices.

On Dec. 10, the VHSL announced that athletes had to wear masks after Gov. Ralph Northam issued new COVID-19 restrictions, including stricter mask-wearing rules, earlier that day. 

“VHSL apologizes for any confusion created by its original release,” said VHSL Executive Director, Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun. “We ask the public to understand that it is the first mission of VHSL to make sure that athletics are conducted in a safe and healthy environment, and it was that desire that motivated the original decision.”

It remains up to each school division whether masks are required for practice and games or not. Prince William County Public Schools will continue to require the mask wearing for practices and games until schools are told otherwise. 

The VHSL rescinded the requirement so it complies with Northam’s new mask-wearing mandate that face covering requirements “do not apply to … individuals exercising or using exercise equipment.”

“Once we knew that [Executive Order] 72 did not apply to individuals exercising and that a mask mandate was not enforceable in the Governor’s order we immediately made the decision to not make masks a requirement,” said VHSL spokesperson Mike McCall. “The clarification occurred over the weekend. Obviously, safety is our priority and we want to get this right.”

In its release Monday, the VHSL said face masks are “strongly encouraged’, but not required. Each school may continue to exercise its discretion and judgment as to safety steps within its athletics programs as it pertains to face coverings.”

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

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(4) comments

FixPrinceWilliam

Hawkeye, ha ha! Good one!

Maybe the Superintendent is taking all the heat since Lateef buried the Twitter ordeal. Something fishy is going on.

Anyway, you don't have to worry. The sports are socially distanced! Should make for an interesting basketball game or wrestling match. Ha ha!

Hawkeye10

Oh yeah I remember you posted that on the original post FixPrinceWilliam, about the social distancing aspect of this...

Eh, what can I say at the end of the day? I miss the Prince William of old....wish the Rural Crescent was double the size it is....thats wishful thinking, even Corey Stewart cared less about over-development....It probably woulda just been smarter to build the historic themed Disnleyland in the first place.

But now that I think of it, many statues probably would of had to come down from even Disnleyland as well....

FixPrinceWilliam

Honestly, they should have built Disneyland. It would have been quick and painful death instead of the creeping garbage from Colgan to Gainesville.

Hawkeye10

"It remains up to each school division whether masks are required for practice and games or not. Prince William County Public Schools will continue to require the mask wearing for practices and games until schools are told otherwise."

Hopefully no ones kid dies and has to sue the County for their B.S....Or maybe it will be the straw that breaks the camels back. But then again, a wise parent would provide a medical waiver for the kid to not have to comply with wearing a mask WHILE PARTICIPATING IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Or any coach with half a brain would simply not put their kids' livelihood in jeopardy.

PWCPS, how do you sleep at night? Oh thats right, the Superintendent is tweeting the students, no time for rest! You can get away with anything with others peoples money it seems like, good ol' Government!

Sic Semper Tyrannis

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