VHSL announces practice guidelines

The Virginia High School League announced last week that out-of-season practices could begin if proper protocols are followed and many teams in far Southwest Virginia will have their first workout sessions since March on Monday.

On Friday, the VHSL released the recommended guidelines for those activities as the VHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee worked with the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education worked together during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Among the highlights of the Phase II guidelines:

>>> Indoor practices and activities may occur if at least 10 feet of physical distance can be maintained by coaches and athletes. The total number of attendees to these workouts cannot exceed the lessor of 30% of the occupancy load of the room in which the activity is being held or 50 people.

Outdoor practices and activities are allowed with the same 10-feet rules in place and no more than 50 people can attend.

No spectators are allowed.

>>> Cross country, track and field, swimming, golf, tennis, forensics/debate, scholastic bowl and e-sports were defined as lower infection risk activities.

>>> Volleyball, field hockey, gymnastics, soccer, baseball, basketball, theatre, robotics and softball fell under moderate infection risk activities.

The basketball section in the VHSL guidelines suggested: “Conditioning, individual ball skill drills, no contact or sharing of balls. A player may shoot with a ball, but a team should not practice/pass a basketball among the team where multiple players touch the same ball.”

>>> Higher infection risk activities are football, wrestling, lacrosse and cheerleading.

Conditioning and individual drills are the workouts suggested for football. The VHSL’s guidelines state: “A player should not participate in drills with a football that will be handed off or passed to other teammates. Contact with other players is not allowed and there should be no sharing of tackling dummies/donuts/sleds. Protective equipment prohibited.”


Jones earns top VaSID honor

Kaylee Jones (Eastside) of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise was selected as the Virginia Sports Information Directors College Division Softball Player of the Year.

The junior third baseman hit .446 with nine home runs and 23 RBIs in 24 games during a truncated 2020 season.

She was the only player from a local college to make the squad.


Vikings remained unbeaten in ETHSBL

Cole Presson led a 12-hit attack with two singles and a triple, and Evan Mutter added two singles and drove in two runs, leading the Vikings of Bristol, Tennessee to a 14-1 win over the Wahoos of Rogersville in a late-ending Thursday night game at Joe O’Brien Field in Elizabethton.

Mason Johns, Jared Graham and Logan Quales combined to strike out 11 batters. Johns and Quales fanned five apiece.

Garrett Embree added two hits for the Vikings, who are 4-0 through two weeks of the East Tennessee High School Baseball League.

The Vikings will meet the Patriots (Bluff City) on Tuesday at TVA Credit Union Ballpark in Johnson City. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.

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