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WVSSAC Releases Fall Sports Postseason Guidelines

Twenty-Percent of Facility’s Capacity Can Attend Games

WHEELING — The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission has released a plan for all fall sports postseason games as it pertains to the state’s COVID-color map.

All schools that reside in green, yellow or gold counties on the Saturday map are eligible to play in playoff games, while allowing 20 percent of each facility’s capacity to attend games.

Wheeling Island Stadium holds 12,220, which would put 2,444 fans in the bleachers for Super Six games.

“Twenty percent is to control the crowd but also if you have a larger facility, you can let more people go,” WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan said. “At the same time, if you bring two soccer teams, two boys and two girls, and bring everybody in to these facilities, you may be exceeding your 20 percent capacity, so this is to give them the latitude to make sure they can stay within those guidelines.”

The Super Six may have several small changes in the upcoming year, as well.

“We are already looking at things like the breakfast we have for the academic achievements,” Dolan said. “That probably won’t happen this year. We’ll probably only have pre-sale tickets either online or at the school available so we don’t have large numbers showing up at the gates and exceeding limitations.

“Fortunately for Wheeling Island Stadium in football, we have a game and then it clears out and they have time to clean the locker rooms and sanitize before the next game. That would be more challenging at the state volleyball tournament so we’re looking to make some alterations to the state volleyball tournament, as well.”

Other guidelines for fall sports include all gold county schools are allowed to play teams from green or yellow counties in the playoffs but schools in orange on the Saturday map will not be permitted to play football, soccer or volleyball (identified as high to moderate risk by the National Federation of State High School Associations).

However, orange county schools will be eligible to participate in cross county and sideline cheer (identified as low risk by the NFHS) postseason events as long as they test negative for COVID within seven days of the start of the event.

All schools in counties in red on the Saturday map, along with any county that is verified as red during that week are not eligible to participate in postseason action.

As for football, the normal 16 teams will earn playoff spots in each class as long as they have played at-least four games during the regular season.

No bonus points will be awarded to teams who play out-of-state teams whose respective state has already begun playoff action (such as Ohio).

Any West Virginia football team that hasn’t played 10 games may add regular season games until Nov. 28.

In terms of team hotels for state tournaments, Dolan is already in communication with them regarding reservations and possible last minute changes.

“We’re just giving the hotels a heads up that if we have to add a day to make sure that we can do it safely and letting the city know that it might be extended in order to accommodate social distancing,” Dolan said.

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