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WVSSAC makes changes to 2020 winter sports season

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 6:51 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -The Super Six was called off over the weekend, as the West Virginia’s Department of Education COVID-19 school reopening map flipped several counties participating in the semifinals on Sunday.

COVID-19 claimed victory over West Virginia’s trio of high school championship games.

“In theory, people said ‘you could have gone one more day on Sunday, and seen if Harrison County was right. We could have played our championships on Sunday. But we didn’t do that with any sport. We couldn’t have done it,” said Bernie Dolan, executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission.

The abrupt end to the season has the WVSSAC making changes to the playbook for winter sports.

Previously in the fall, if players, coaches, and staff of teams in orange counties were tested and all came back negative, those teams could resume play.

Dolan says that won’t be an option for winter sports.

“There are no low-risk sports in the winter,” Dolan said. “So, testing will not currently be an option for the kids in the winter.”

WVSSAC says each winter sport brings its challenges.

Due to extensive cleaning measures and social distancing protocols, Dolan says tournaments are unlikely.

“We have modified our schedules, what they are allowed to do because most gyms and facilities don’t have enough seating to have more than two teams together,” Dolan said. “No more than four basketball teams in the gym will be allowed at one time.”

For wrestling, a maximum of 56 athletes will be in a session.

“That means you can have seven weight classes with eight kids, or 14 weight classes with four kids,” Dolan said. " If you have eight teams in your tournament, then you will have to run a morning session with the early kids or lower weight classes and then come and clean the mats.”

The start of basketball season is delayed until January, but there’s still time for additional changes to be made.

“It’s going to be a fluid situation. I heard the governor today; he’s going to even be more pessimistic today about what our chances are for basketball,” Dolan said.

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