S. Burlington Friday, April 3rd
As the calendar turns from March to April, it's been three weeks since the sports world came to an abrupt halt. While the remainder of the Vermont high school winter schedule was canceled, the spring season, to this day, remains postponed.
"People are trying to hold out hope to have some sort of spring season, but nobody knows exactly what it would look like yet."
This week, the Vermont Principals' Association notified the state's high school athletic directors that a deadline of April 30th has been set as the final date to make a decision about the spring sports season. The goal is to hold out as long as possible in hopes that some sort of spring season can take place, but VPA Associate Executive Director Bob Johnson acknowledges that could change at any time.
"We could end up making a decision before April 30th if we get continued guidance from either the governor or the federal government.", says Johnson.
Johnson holds a weekly meeting with members of the high school governing bodies of what is nationally considered Section 1, the other New England states, New York and New Jersey, and interestingly, none of those states has yet to official cancel their high school spring seasons.
"At this point, right now, no other Section 1 state has said, 'no'. There are a couple that have dates in place already, there are a couple that it's, basically, a rolling date depending upon information that they receive from their governor.", says Johnson.
If events change and the opportunity emerges, what would a spring season would look like? Currently, schools are set to remain closed, with students continuing their education via remote learning. Johnson says, even if the major hurdle being allowed to gather in groups, is cleared, that would be far from the final challenge.
"If we have schools that are still doing remote learning and they are physically not back in school, but we've been given the clearance to go ahead and do something, there may be schools out there that are going to say, 'no, we're not going to do this', because they're not back in school.", says Johnson. "There's a whole set of complicated questions and issues and scenarios that could come up as we get down towards the end of April."