WVSSAC outlines changes for 2020 fall sports seasons

WOAY – The WVSSAC released guidelines Monday regarding changes coming to high school sports for the fall 2020 season.

Executive Director Bernie Dolan announced Friday that all sports would begin official preseason practices on August 17, two weeks later than the original start date of August 3.

Among the changes coming for football teams: schools will be required to extend the coaching boxes on sidelines for social distancing purposes. In addition, all water provided will be in individual containers; the length of time outs and time between quarters will be extended; sidelines will be limited to essential personnel only.

The WVSSAC is recommending football teams send fewer players to away games, and urges schools to use additional dressing rooms or arrive at road games partially dressed. Teams are recommended to limit contact practices to once a week. Fans would be asked to use electronic tickets and to social distance in the stands; the WVSSAC suggests streaming games on pay-per-view as a way to make up for lost revenue.

Regarding additional fall sports, it’s been recommended that teams limit unnecessary contact (i.e. no high-fives) and dressing room use as much as possible. Extended sidelines would be required, and volleyball teams will not be switching benches in between sets.

High school football games would not begin before September 3. Many schools are currently making adjustments to make up for games that would’ve taken place in Week 1 (August 28).