With coronavirus cases started to spike once again in our region, many in the mountains have been left wondering when, and if we will have sports return. There are a lot of unknowns out there regarding the pandemic, however, West Virginia and Kentucky have laid out their plans in hopes teams can return to some normalcy even if the seasons are modified.
The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, or WVSSAC this week released their fall sports schedules and start dates for when teams can officially start practices with games soon to follow.
The Mountain State has already postponed the first two games of the football season, including, the Mingo Central-Belfry matchup which was planned for August 28th in the Pike County Bowl. There has been no word on possibly rescheduling the game or playing it later on, but if that were to be updated we will pass that information along. At present, however, the game does not look like it will be played. West Virginia schools are not planned to be in session until the first of September.
Schools can have their first day of football practice on August 17th. They will not be allowed to go in pads until August 21st for high schools, and middle schools can follow suit on the 24th.
Practices will be non-contact until August 25th for high schools, and middle will follow on the 27th. Teams will be allowed their first scrimmage on August 28th, but only after 4:00 pm on that day. Elementary and middle schools will have the green light the last day of the month.
Tug Valley and the Miners can have their first official game on September 3rd, while the smaller kids will wait until the 7th of September. The middle school season will end on Halloween, while the high school playoffs (rounds 1-3) will be played November 13-28th. West Virginia’s Super Six will be played December 4-5th.
Teams will be allowed to schedule 10 games, however, any school with a contract for Week 1 will be null and void.
Like football, soccer will be allowed to start on August 17th. They can take the pitch for their first match on September 2nd, with middle school following on the 7th. The sectionals will be played October 19-24th, with the regional on the 27-29th. The state will take place November 6th and 7th.
Volleyball will follow the lead of soccer in allowing the first contest on September 2nd. This year’s sectionals will be played November 2-5th. The regional will be played in a single day this season on November 7th, with state to follow the 14th and 15th.
Track athletes will have one of the shortest seasons in memory. Like volleyball and soccer, their first meet can start on the second of September. The regional meet will take place on October 22-24th. The state meet will be held on Halloween.
High school golf will have the earliest start date. Teams can have their first match August 18th. Regional play will take place September 28th, with the state tournament taking place October 6-7th.
Cheerleaders, like the other sports can officially start practice on August 17th. This season, the regional will be held November 7th with the state competition held December 12th.
Though the fall sports season will look unlike any we’ve had, it is a comfort to know that we will at least have sports in the fall. Not only is this good for our kids mental health and fitness, it will start to give players and fans alike their routines back with also something to look forward to.
We welcome the return of sports, and hope they can be played in the safest way possible for our kids and fans. We will update any changes to the season and schedules as they are made available.