CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During Friday’s coronavirus news briefing, Gov. Jim Justice gave WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan the floor to announce he will be pushing back all high school athletics practices and contest start dates.
Justice said he recognizes the importance of sports, but that the state of West Virginia must have a plan going forward.
Dolan announced the start dates of sports practices and games will be pushed back accordingly.
The start of practices is delayed from the original date of August 3 to August 17.
Since teams must have 14 days of practice before they are able to compete in a contest, the start of games and competitions also must be pushed back.
Golf, a sport where social distancing can be implemented easily, requires fewer practice days in order to compete. So, high school golf is allowed to have its first contest Aug. 24.
For volleyball, soccer, cross country and cheerleading, the opening contests are allowed to start Sept. 2.
High school football is allowed to begin games on a Thursday, so football has the go-ahead to have its first game Sept. 3.
Dolan added that high school’s three-week period practices will continue to be played out.
Justice and Dolan also stressed that fans will be required to wear masks and social distance at athletic events. Dolan said limits on attendance are likely, but these may vary depending on the venue and the sport.