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Virginia Hopes Moving HS Football To Spring Will Save Season

July 17, 2020
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I spoke to a member of the Virginia High School sports advisory committee about yesterday’s announcement that high school football would not be played in the state this fall.

There will be a final vote later this month on which exact route to take. The options are essentially to cancel football altogether, swap fall and spring sports or basically delay everything and start with winter sports this December. There would be some overlap between each season.

Obviously, a lot of differing opinions on these decisions right now, but the person I spoke to was in favor of the final option and is almost certain that’s the route that will be taken.

“A lot of people like to keep tradition and do things a certain way,” I was told. “Sometimes you just can’t do things the way you normally do them.”

This person stressed the fact that trying to force a season in the fall could end up meaning teams don’t get to play much at all. This person mentioned a scenario where even a relatively minor outbreak within a team or teams would mean the end.

“The season is done,” the person said of that scenario. “I’d rather be certain that we can give these kids a season than uncertain and have to take the season away from them.”

Obviously, nothing is “certain” these days, but this person was operating on the belief that we’d be in a better position with the COVID-19 crisis in a matter of months than we are now, which is also not certain.

We spoke with a high school coach in Virginia, who felt the same way.

“I don’t want to start and then stop,” the coach said. “I think that’s one of the reasons why they’re doing it.”

A spring season would definitely be different and included some sort of “abbreviated schedule.” 

I was told the state is thinking of a six-game regular season with some sorts of individual “bowl games” for multiple teams afterward.

“There isn’t a coach in the state who is having that,” the advisory committee member said. “There’s going to be a playoff. There has to be. We don’t play football to go to bowl games in high schools.”

The high school coach we spoke with said he’d be fighting for as many regular season games as possible.

“That’s how you get your kids the most exposure,” the coach said. “If they only get to play six games and the rest of us get to play eight or nine, how do those schools who normally would have had 10 games feel about that?

“I'm in favor of as many regular season games as possible. If there’s a playoff, there’s a playoff and that’s great. I want to give my kids the best opportunity to put some film out there to these colleges and also to have football. The more regular season games you have, the better chance you have of making some money for your school. A lot of the other sports and activities depend on football."

 
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