Guidelines for H.S. winter sports delayed to end of October

Indoor track and wrestling may not be offered this winter season.
Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 8:42 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Those waiting for details on what a Vermont high school winter sports season may look like will have to wait a little longer.

At Friday’s Governor’s press conference, Vermont Secretary of Education Dan French gave an update on the status of the high school winter sports season. Originally, October 15th was planned date for the release of guidelines for the winter season. French said that will now be moved to the end of October, with practices for winter sports likely pushed back to after Thanksgiving, and the actual start of the winter season likely pushed to the start of 2021.

When it comes to individual sports, the Vermont Principals Association offers eleven sports in the winter...alpine skiing, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor track, Nordic skiing, snowboarding and wrestling.

French said the guidelines for the winter, which are being worked on by a task force led by Agency of Natural Resources secretary Julie Moore, would be similiar to the fall, where some guidelines will be general to all winter sports and some will be targeted to specific sports.

In the fall, two sports, football and volleyball, had to undergo significant changes due to state health guidelines, but they are still being played. On Friday, French mentioned two specific winter sports, indoor track and wrestling, where health restrictions could keep them on the sidelines this season.

“At this point I’m not optimistic about our ability to allow wrestling and indoor track this winter.”, said French. “Wrestling is problematic due to the high degree of physical contact, indoor track has the challenge of having a large number of participants indoors during our meets.”

“The task force is still working on finding a path forward for allowing other winter sports, including basketball and hockey. The task force is working on how to mitigate the risks associated with the sports. Expect our guidance for winter sports to be published by the end of the month.”

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