CHARLOTTESVILLE — After announcing that it would push back the start of sports until mid-December last week, the Virginia High School League (VHSL) took another step on Friday by beginning to work on a detailed draft for each season and sport.
The meeting was held with athletic directors and other administrators from across the state of Virginia and despite being condensed, still looks similar to the standard VHSL schedule that includes both regional and state tournaments.
The new schedule has winter sports — basketball, wrestling, indoor track and field and swimming and diving — beginning practice on Dec. 14 and the first games taking place on Dec. 28.
In hoops, regional tournament would be held Feb. 8-13 and the state tournament games would be on Feb. 16 and 20.
One big difference from past years would be that the regional champion would be the only team to advance to that state tournament. That would eliminate state-quarterfinal contests.
The regional wrestling tournaments would take place Feb. 1-6 and states would be Feb. 12-13.
For indoor track and field, regional competition would fall between Feb. 1-6 and the state meet would be on Feb. 13.
Swimming would have regional competition take place between Feb. 3-6 and states would also be on Feb. 13.
Also dates for spring sports were discussed with some minor adjustments to playoff schedules.
In football, regional quarterfinals will be eliminated. Instead, just four teams advance to the postseason in each region. The state championship game is slated for May 1.
The league will continue to discuss its options with coaches, athletic directors and administrators and hope to meet with regional representatives on Aug. 17 before proposing a final plan during its next Executive Committee meeting a week later.
Also, the VHSL announced updated guidelines for off-season workouts on Friday that allowed teams to move into Phase III.
Now, teams will be allowed to work out together and players can begin sharing equipment.
And he league announced its mid-cycle realignments.
Starting in 2021, Manchester returns from Class 5 to Class 6 and joins Region A, which includes Franklin County.
Tallwood, which currently resides in Class 6 is dropping to Class 5 and will compete in Region A.
Beginning in 2021, there will be 56 schools in Class 6: 11 in Region A, 16 in Region B, 16 in Region C and 13 in Region D.
Besides FCHS and Manchester, Richmond area schools Cosby, James River-Midlothian and Thomas Dale are in Region A as are Virginia Beach area schools Grassfield, Floyd Kellam, Landstown, Ocean Lakes, Oscar Smith and Western Branch.
First Colonial withdrew its request to move from Class 5 to Class 6, according to a VHSL report. Had it not done so, the school would have been placed in Region A.
Manchester was last in Class 6 during the 2018-2019 academic year and the school competed against Franklin County in a number of sports.
Manchester captured the state championship in football in 2018, finishing 15-0 en route to the title.
Former Ferrum College standout Tom Hall is Manchester’s head football coach.
Franklin County made its debut in Class 6 Region A during the 2019-2020 academic year after competing in Region B for a a number of years.
Harvey reports for the Charlottesville Daily Progress. The Franklin News-Post contributed information to this story.
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