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Bluestone’s game with Greensville deemed no-contest

SoVaNow.com / September 15, 2021
The Bluestone varsity football team will remain at 0-2 on the season after Friday’s scheduled game with Greensville County High School was canceled.

Bluestone lost its opener to Park View and followed with a loss to Brunswick.

Bluestone athletics director Justin Kirkland said the canceled game will be counted as a no-contest. Meaning neither team will suffer a forfeit, so Bluestone’s record stays at 0-2.

As a no-contest, the Greensville game won’t affect the Barons’ season record one way or the other; a forfeit would have resulted in a 0-3 mark.

Bluestone has a bye week on the schedule for this week. Bluestone begins James River District action Sept. 24 at Amelia with a 7 p.m. game time.

In the spring of 2020, when COVID-19 halted high school sports, the Virginia High School League — like most athletic sanctioning bodies — was looking for a way to return student-athletes to competition as soon as safely possible.

The VHSL’s Championships + 1 calendar — a condensed schedule that allowed high schools to compete during the pandemic — was developed. Now with teams back to full sports schedules, missed games and or forfeitures could determine whether teams qualify for postseason tournament play.

How the games are determined to be no-contests or forfeits is guided by VHSL protocols relating to COVID-19.

The VHSL guidelines support coaches and athletic directors in making these decisions at the local level.

Home team COVID-19 protocols play a major role in how these determinations are made.

“The VHSL Executive Committee endorsed that visiting teams must follow the host school division’s mask policies,” notes for the league’s July 27 meeting state. “If they refuse to play under those established conditions, the contest will result in a forfeit.

“Additionally, the Executive Committee confirmed that in the case of COVID related postponements every effort will be made by schools to make-up games.”

If a postponed game cannot be made-up, the rules set out three options that the teams involved can pursue. Those options include declaring a game a no-contest, allowing teams to pick up a new opponent, or having one team accept the forfeit.

The VHSL rules state that if decisions can’t be reached by mutual agreement, the matter can be decided at the district or inter-district commitment level.

The VHSL now has a 2021 football game status link on its homepage where cancelled, postponed, games added and rescheduled sports events are listed. In week no. 3 of the VHSL football season, some 30 games were affected throughout the state last week due to COVID-related issues.

With its guidelines in place, the VHSL acknowledges the still-present risks associated with the coronavirus. But the protocols do provide a way forward for high school athletics that supports safety, cooperation at the most basic level and fairness to the student-athletes.



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