& MIDDLE SCHOOL FALL SPORTS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
With the daily number of new COVID-19 cases continuing to climb, Gov.
Justice joined West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission
(WVSSAC) Executive Director Bernie Dolan during his briefing on Friday to
discuss current plans for high school and middle school sports,
cheerleading, and marching band activities for the fall season.
“No one wants sports and activities to be going on more than Bernie and I
do,” Gov. Justice said. “We absolutely want our kids back in school. But
we want to do it in a way that we know is as safe as we can possibly make
it for our students, as well as those who are working with our students
like our teachers and service personnel.
“Bernie and I surely recognize the importance of sports,” Gov. Justice
continued. “They give us so much. They teach us so many life lessons.
They’re important to our communities, they bring us together. But, at the
same time, we need to be safe.”
In accordance with the Governor’s announcement
Wednesday that the beginning of the school year would
be adjusted to Sept. 8, 2020, Dolan announced Friday that the fall sports
and activities calendar would also be adjusted.
“We are pushing back our practice dates,” Dolan said. “Instead of
starting on August 3rd – the date most fall sports practices would’ve
started except volleyball – we’re moving the start of all of our practice
activities to August 17th.”
Dolan announced that, under the current plan, golf would be the first
sport to resume competition because its participants are adequately able
to socially distance from one another during matches. There is also less
practice time required to resume competition for golf. As a result, golf
is currently scheduled to tee off its season on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.
Competitions for volleyball, cheerleading, cross-country, and soccer are
currently scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020.
Football games would be able to start as early as Thursday, Sept. 3,
2020, under the WVSSAC’s current plan.
Dolan added that competition attendees will have to follow additional
safety guidelines, which will vary based on the type of sport and the
facility in which it is being played but will likely include social
distancing and the wearing of masks, to keep all participants and
visitors as safe as possible.
Any additional WVSSAC guidelines will be provided on online as soon as they become
“I tell people, it’s up to the public to decide whether or not we are
going to have athletics come this fall,” Dolan said. “Because you’re the
one who will wear the masks.
“It sounds like it’s an easy thing to do for everybody to get on board,”
Dolan continued. “So, if you are the one who’s not socially distancing,
not wearing a mask, you very well could be the one – you are setting an
example for somebody not to follow and then that hurts all of our chances
Click to read more:
Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement
“We all know that we may have to change again,” Gov. Justice said. “We do
not know what this is going to do. There is no playbook here.
“But we hope and pray that we’ll be ready to go and we’ve got to have a
plan of what we’re going to be able to do...if we can,” Gov. Justice
continued. “I want to emphasize ‘if we can.’ We’re going to do it safely.
We’re going to do it right. We’re going to protect our kids in every
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