Local roundup: Vermont sets guidelines for winter high school sports

Published: 11/3/2020 3:45:52 PM
Modified: 11/3/2020 10:01:39 PM

MONTPELIER — Vermont officials announced their plans and parameters for high school sports this winter in a news conference Tuesday morning.

Practices can begin on Nov. 30, but competition between schools must wait until at least Jan. 11. The six-week gap between practice and competition provides a chance for the state to identify any trends that require adjustments.

“Should data emerge that indicates COVID-19 transmission as a result of sports-related activities, this could result in further delaying or suspending games, practices, meets and competitions,” secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources Julie Moore said.

Spectators will be barred from all indoor competition, similar to the guidelines that were released last month for club and college athletics. The mask mandate from the fall for coaches and student-athletes will carry over and now includes officials at indoor sporting events.

Indoor track and wrestling will not be offered in 2020-21 due to the unique challenges each sport poses. Basketball, ice hockey, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, bowling, gymnastics, dance and cheerleading are eligible.

Cheerleading will not be allowed to perform vocal routines, though.

Citing the need to weigh health risks along with mental health needs, Moore said the main priority continues to be support of in-person instruction at schools. The guidance also frowns on, but doesn’t prohibit, team-based social gatherings.

BOYS SOCCER VPA Division IV semifinals postponed

MONTPELIER — The Sharon Academy and White River Valley School’s VPA Division IV boys soccer semifinal matches scheduled for Tuesday afternoon were postponed due to snow.

The No. 7 seed Phoenix will now travel to third-ranked Proctor on Thursday afternoon. Kickoff is 2 p.m.

And the Cinderella team of the tournament, the No. 13 seed Wildcats, will look to continue their run on Wednesday afternoon at top-ranked Twin Valley. That match will start at 3 p.m.

DARTMOUTHSykes promoted to senior associate AD

HANOVER — After serving as the Big Green’s associate athletics director for compliance for the last year, Tiffani-Dawn Sykes is taking over as the new senior associate athletics director for varsity sports and senior woman administrator.

She fills the role of Kristene Kelly, who left in September to join become a deputy athletic director at Vanderbilt.

Sykes spearheaded the campaign to bring the NCAA Skiing Championships to Hanover in 2025 and also handled the tough situation of player eligibility during the COVID-19 over the past year.

In her new role, she will be in charge of select varsity sports programs and the Dartmouth Peak Performance initiative. She previously served as the assistant athletics director for compliance at Grambling State.

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