HS winter sports to move to Phase 2 Monday – WCAX

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) -Governor Scott took another step toward giving the high school winter sports season the green light on Friday.
At the governor’s twice-weekly press conference, Scott announced Friday that, effective next Monday, January 18th, the state will move to Phase II of Vermont’s return guidelines for high school and youth recreational sports.
That means teams may be allowed to expand practices to include contact drills and scrimmages. Games or scrimmages with other teams or schools is still not allowed. Since December 26th, teams have been allowed to conduct practices, but were restricted to individual skills and conditioning. Scott says information derived from those practices has cleared the way to taking this next step in the process.
“Since then, we’ve seen no spread of the virus tired of these activities and spread within the schools remains low.”, said Scott.
“We know how important these activities are for our kids well-being, both for their physical and mental health. It’s my hope that will soon be able to allow for competitions, but as with every decision we make it will be based on the data and the advice of our experts.”
As part of Friday’s announcement, the governor cleared the way for competitions to begin in outdoor sports. The Vermont Principals’ Association offers three outdoor winter sports, snowboarding and alpine and Nordic skiing. Bob Johnson, the associate executive director of the VPA, confirmed to Channel Three Sports on Friday that races between schools in those sports may begin next week, but that the groups size for those events it limited to 25.
So, when could we see the state give the go ahead for games to begin in basketball, hockey and other indoor sports?
The VPA requires teams take part in ten practices before they are allowed to play in games or competitions or meets. With the shift now to Phase Two, practices, starting Monday, will now count toward that number. Johnson says the biggest hurdle to clear is getting the final green light from the state but early February looks like a strong possibility.
“The next question will be, when is the state going to come in and give you permission to have a go ahead with the games?”, said Johnson.
“Our guesstimate is it is still going to probably be two weeks. So we’re probably looking at February 1st as being the first date allowable for games, but that’s a guesstimate. That’s going to be dependent on the reporting of data to the governor and his group. If the numbers keep going well, then potentially I think two weeks is a relatively good timeline to look at.”
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