Athletics & Activities

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VAHS Winter Sports Update (10/19/2020)

The Big 8 Conference has made the difficult decision to cancel the winter sports conference season. This decision was guided by many considerations. Chief among the considerations is that Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) entered an order that effectively precludes these competitions from happening. The PHMDC order is a lawful order that we must follow; we have no discretion to decide not to follow the order. Thus, no school in Dane County has any choice other than to follow the order. There are several aspects to the order that individually and in combination preclude winter sports in Dane County. First, the order limits indoor gatherings to not more than 10 persons (excluding the coach). A basketball team composed of 10 players can not compete in the same gym against another basketball team composed of 10 players because such an event would result in 20 persons being present in one location. Second, at present, the PHMDC order does not even permit games and competitions between medium and high-risk sports. These include wrestling and hockey (high-risk) and group gymnastics and basketball (medium-risk). Thus, even if we wanted to move forward with winter sports, right now the law does not allow us to do so. For a helpful guide to the PHMDC order regarding sports, see this guidance:
Click here for PHMDC Sports Guidance
Beyond the PHMDC order is the practical consideration that most of the Big 8 schools are offering virtual-only instruction for high school students. We want the community spread of COVID-19 to decrease such that students are allowed to go back to school in person as soon as possible. Thus, postponing winter sports will make it more likely than it otherwise would be for our students to get back into school for their classes as soon as reasonably possible. This decision supports the District's mission to decrease the spread of COVID-19 so as to increase the chance that we return to school as soon as is reasonably possible.
The Verona Area School District (VASD) is adhering to the PHMDC reopening metrics regarding the in-person return-to-school. Accordingly, our return-to-athletics will coincide with our return-to-school.
Some schools in the Big 8 Conference have announced that they will remain in virtual-only instruction until at least the start of the second semester, regardless of PHMDC metrics, and will not have winter sports unless/until they return in-person. VASD will leave open the possibility of an earlier return, in accordance with PHMDC reopening recommendations. In short, if we can return to in-person instruction, we will reevaluate this decision assuming PHMDC also revises its order for sporting competitions.
VASD will implement the following extracurricular provisions for the winter if PHMDC reopening metrics are not met before the winter season start date:
• Coaches may share virtual individual training activities with all students. Individual training or workouts may be shared or scheduled on a virtual platform for synchronous training (stretching, flexibility, warm-up, strength and speed, conditioning, and mental and sport psychology resources). Coaches must follow WIAA Coaching Contact rules.
• Fall and spring programs may choose to use their optional WIAA allotted Coaching Contact days. If so, they must adhere to strict PHMDC and VASD health and safety policies and receive prior authorization from the Verona Area High School (VAHS) Athletic Director.
If you have any specific questions about your student’s sports programs, please reach out to the head coach or me.


VAHS WIAA Sports Season Update (8/21/20)

WIAA Alternate Fall Season; Winter and Spring Seasons Shortened
• The WIAA Board of Control approved a one-year alternative season in the spring for fall sports and reduced the number of weeks for sports during the 2020-21 winter and spring seasons.
• The WIAA established the alternate fall season parameters and context with seven weeks of competition in the spring.
• Please cllck on this revised sports calendar which replaces the existing 2020-21 season calendars. It identifies – in addition to an alternate fall season in the spring with seven weeks of competition – a period of no coaching contact before the start of the respective sports seasons; an acclimatization or practice period before the first allowed competition; and the designated number of weeks for the winter and spring seasons, including any culminating event.
• All schedules are subject to change if conditions warrant following local, state, and national health guidelines.

2020-21 Winter Sports Season Start & End Dates (*End dates to be determined)
Basketball-Boys (Monday, Nov. 23 - Week of March 1*)
Basketball-Girls (Monday, Nov. 16 - Week of Feb. 22*)
Gymnastics (Monday, Nov. 16 - Week of Feb. 22*)
Hockey- Boys & Girls (Monday, Nov. 16 - Week of Feb. 15*)
Swimming & Diving-Boys (Monday, Nov. 23 - Week of Feb. 1*)
Wrestling (Monday, Nov. 23 - Week of Feb. 15*)

2020-21 Alternate Fall Sports Season Start & End Dates (*End dates to be determined)
Cross Country-Boys & Girls (Monday, March 15 - Week of May 3*)
Football (Monday, March 8 - Week of May 3*) - Earliest first game is Wednesday, March 24
Golf-Girls (Monday, March 29 - Week of May 17*)
Soccer-Boys (Monday, March 22 - Week of May 10*)
Swimming & Diving-Girls (Monday, Feb. 15 - Week of April 5*)
Tennis-Girls (Monday, March 8 - Week of April 26*)
Volleyball - Boys & Girls (Monday, Feb. 22 - Week of April 12*)

2020-21 Spring Sports Season Start & End Dates
Baseball (Monday, April 19 - Week of June 28*)
Golf-Boys (Monday, April 19 - Week of June 14*)
Softball (Monday, April 19 - Week of June 28*)
Soccer-Girls (Monday, April 26 - Week of June 28*)
Tennis-Boys (Monday, May 3 - Week of June 21*)
Track & Field - Boys & Girls (Monday, April 19 - Week of June 28*)

Big 8 Conference Schedules
• Big 8 AD’s are currently working on putting together conference schedules. The goal is to have these finalized by September 4th.
• All team sports should anticipate the cancellation of all non-conference competitions (winter and alternate fall, likely extending to spring). Individual sports may have more leverage, but this will depend on what the final conference schedule looks like once complete. No extended trips will be scheduled.
• There is overlap between seasons, so the expectation is for coaches to be flexible with multisport athletes.

Speed and Strength Training
• Virtual synchronous S&S training - similar to the summer model.
• Contact Dave Richardson with questions - richardd@verona.k12.wi.us

Sports Coaching Contact Days
• Five (5) allowable days - must be conducted virtually until further notice.
• Potential for more days following the WIAA Board of Control September meeting.
• Sport-specific skill development, separate from S&S.
• Coaching contact start dates by season allows students to focus on academics the first two weeks of school, and avoid as much overlap as possible between multi-sport athletes.
• Fall - begin no earlier than 9/21
• Winter - begin no earlier than 10/12
• Spring  - begin no earlier than 11/2
REMINDER - VASD does NOT support or encourage in-person gatherings of our teams at this time.

Concessions
• Don’t anticipate any concessions during the 2020-21 sports seasons.

Non-School Competition During the School Sports Season
*School approval must be requested and approved before the nonschool competition.
Click here to access the WIAA Non-School Competition During the School Sports Season Form.*
• Athletes may compete in not more than two non-school competitions with school approval during each regular sports season. The contest(s) will not count against the individual maximum for the athlete in that sport. The non-school competition will not be allowed during the respective WIAA tournament series in a sport. A student becomes ineligible in a sport for the remainder of the season for competing in more than two non-school games, meets, or contests in the same sport during the season of practice and competition established by the school. The penalty may be reduced upon request of a school, based on documented extenuating circumstances.
• Counting the contests for high school: the determination of competition is made in the manner that the particular sport maximum limits and individual limits are determined. Cross country, swimming, track, gymnastics, and golf is counted as a meet. Wrestling, tennis, and volleyball may be a dual or a tournament. Baseball, softball, football, soccer, basketball, and hockey can only be two games and could not be a tournament with four games.

Big 8 Student-Athlete Resources 
• The Big 8 Conference will be sharing virtual resources throughout the first semester for all student-athletes to participate. The Athletic Department will make sure to send information to students when it becomes available.

VAHS Athletics and Activities

VAHS Athletics and Activities VAHS Fall Sports/Clubs (8/14/20)

The WIAA Board of Control is meeting today, Friday, August 14, at 8 a.m. If you would like to tune in, it will be live-streamed, and you can access the meeting by clicking the following link: August 14 WIAA Board of Control Meeting. We anticipate that additional information will be released after this meeting related to fall sports and 2020-21 calendars for all sports.  

The Big 8 AD's are meeting Monday at 10 a.m. to work on timelines and next steps following regarding this meeting. Nothing will impact the restricted and virtual-only contact through the fall for VASD extracurricular activities at this time.  VAHS Head Coaches will meet on Thursday to discuss the latest and plans, after which they will share information with their specific sports teams and families regarding season impacts. Please continue to check here for VAHS Athletics and Activities updates.

VAHS Athletics and Activities


VAHS FALL SPORTS/CLUBS (8/4/20)

The Verona Area School District (VASD) has decided to suspend the fall 2020 sports season as currently scheduled. The Big 8 Conference has also agreed to cancel all Big 8 competitions this fall. VASD will adopt the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (WIAA) proposal to move the fall 2020 sports to spring 2021 for districts that choose to do so. Please note that no seasons will be eliminated (winter, fall, or spring) in the WIAA's truncated season model to make room for another season; this will be a shift of seasons within a truncated model for all sports. The schedule will likely be winter, fall, and then spring, ensuring that the spring season ends at its regular time. However, this is all TBD until the WIAA presents further details.

Our local decision is due to current Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) sports guidelines that Dane County schools legally must adhere to. The WIAA Board of Control is scheduled to meet on August 14, and we hope to have more information about what this truncated fall season model will look like at that time.

*All Verona Area High School (VAHS) extracurricular activities, including clubs, are included in this suspension until further notice. Clubs may continue their programming virtually, and sports may do so following WIAA Coaching Contact regulations; no in-person programming for any extracurriculars until further notice.*

The VASD Board of Education met on July 27 and voted 4-2 to start the 2020-21 school year with a virtual model of education for grades 3-12 and an in-person, half-day model for K-2.

VAHS will look to provide any opportunities that are available based on public health and WIAA guidance for fall sports and clubs, ensuring that they are reflective of our schooling model and public health guidance.

VASD will implement the following additional provisions in support of the safe reopening of our school and community:
1. Virtual general training activities may be shared for all students. Individual training and workouts may be distributed or scheduled on a virtual platform for synchronous training. For example, stretching, flexibility, and warm-up routines, strength and speed training, conditioning, and mental preparation/sport psychology resources - so long as it follows standard WIAA Coaching Contact rules.

2. VAHS will not have in-person programming this fall: In sync with the Big 8 Conferencestatement regarding fall sports, and clarifying VAHS will not be offering fall sport-specific virtual or in-person coaching during traditional fall dates. We will look to provide opportunities in the spring in whatever means are available based on WIAA guidance for fall sports and reflective of our schooling model and public health guidance. We will offer general fitness, strength, mental health, academic, and social-emotional connection support throughout the year to all students.

3. VAHS will not hold any fall athletics or clubs in person nor encourage students to gather or train outside of school grounds at this time.
 ● We hope to return to education-based athletic programs with additional guidance from WIAA and local public health, which will allow for the best opportunity to prepare for a safe return to our facilities if able.
 ● We will provide students with best practices and mental health support along with virtual training opportunities and connections to help facilitate when we are ready to return to in-person activities.

VASD and your athletics and activities programs will continue to provide resources for virtual platforms and best practices to assist in resuming the quality education-based extracurricular programs we offer. These resources will prepare us for a full return to in-person operations when deemed safe and when we can adequately meet the needs for appropriate cleanliness, hygiene, monitoring, and interaction to safely operate programming and additional activities. Further details will come from our program coaches and coordinators regarding virtual opportunities.

Please click the links below
to read PHMDC’s current order, frequently asked questions, and sports guidance for K-12 schools, and continue to check the VAHS Athletics and Activities website for updates:

PHMDC Current Order (Emergency Order #8)

PHMDC Frequently Asked Questions

PHMDC K-12 Schools Sports Guidance

VAHS Athletic and Activities Department


BIG 8 CONFERENCE FALL SPORTS

The Big 8 Conference has made the following decision regarding fall sports. Since all Big 8 member schools are not able to participate fully in conference contests during the current fall season dates as scheduled, Big 8 Conference competitions will not be held, and conference champions will not be named. Please click here to view the official statement made by the Big 8 Conference.

This statement respects any decisions made by individual school districts and decisions that are yet to be made. Overall, the Big 8 Conference will not be competing against one another this fall under the umbrella of the Big 8 Conference as the WIAA fall season is currently structured. Please note that this only relates to the fall season as presently scheduled by the WIAA and is subject to change given further information and guidance from PHMDC, DPI, and the WIAA.

The VASD Board is meeting on Monday, July 27, to vote on the academic model for the fall and stance on fall sports. Communication will go out to families in our community following next week's board meeting that should provide clarity to many of your questions.

The next Big 8 meeting will be on August 17. In the interim, the group of schools that have moved virtually will collaborate on best practices for coaching opportunities and provide ways to engage students by providing mental, emotional, and fitness support robustly through distance learning opportunities. The group will also advocate for additional access once in-person school and athletics return by proposing flexible coach contact regulations during the school year of 2020-21. Finally, in the immediate future, we will provide feedback to the WIAA on other calendars being considered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding during this saddening, troubling, and challenging time. We will continue to share information with you as it becomes available.

VAHS Athletics and Activities Department
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VAHS Summer Athletics & Activities Guidelines

There are a lot of questions and perspectives related to Public Health Madison and Dane County’s release of the Forward Dane Plan. Hopefully, this information will help clarify and provide answers to questions as they relate to high school sports.  

We continue to gather information and provide clarifications as information is made available to us, as we recognize that the current pandemic climate is not ideal or what we are used to.

The Governor’s General Counsel has defined the end of the 2019-2020 school year as of June 30, 2020 – the statutorily determined end of the school year. This means that school buildings and associated grounds are closed to students for instructional and extracurricular activities through that date.

VASD and VAHS will implement the following additional provisions in support of the Forward Dane Plan and the safe reopening of our schools and community:

1) Virtual summer training activities may begin on June 1st, related to general strength and fitness training. This means individual training or workouts may be shared or scheduled on a virtual platform for synchronous training - such as stretching, flexibility, and warm-up routines, strength and speed training, conditioning, and mental preparation/sport psychology resources - so long as it follows normal WIAA Coaching Contact rules.

2) VAHS athletic programs, including clubs, will not have in-person programming. This includes summer contact, open gyms, camps, clinics, fundraisers, or other in-person training or social opportunities through July 31st. Please note that this also means that coaches shall NOT encourage students to gather together in any capacity on or off VASD facilities/grounds.

Our school buildings will be closed through July 31, 2020. This includes all facilities and grounds, including athletic fields, outdoor courts, and stadiums, with a few exceptions. Please click here to view those facility access exceptions.

• VASD athletics and activities shall NOT hold any summer contact sessions in person nor encourage students to gather outside of school grounds, to train through July 31st at this time. Please note that the recently released WIAA Summer Activities Guidance does not apply to VASD at the moment, as a decision was made by VASD not to conduct any summer extracurricular activities:

We hope to have additional guidance before August 1st from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Public Health Madison and Dane Country, and the WIAA to prepare for safe return to hybrid in-person academics, facilities usage, and extracurricular activities in the fall, if able.

WIAA sport-specific virtual summer contact can begin July 1st virtually.

The long-term goal is for a return to normal operations when deemed safe and when we can meet the needs for appropriate cleanliness, hygiene, monitoring, and interaction to safely operate athletic programming.




GET INVOLVED IN SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES VIDEO!

Big Eight Conference Schedules

VAHS Sports Schedules

Verona Area High School currently offers 22 athletics programs to our students. Each program consists of a varsity team, junior varsity team and in some cases include multiple freshman teams. Our coaching staff consists of 75 coaches passionate about sports and students.

Over 35 clubs and activities are also offered at Verona Area High School! A wide range of topics and interests can be explored during either A+ or after school. Check with the club/activity advisor to see when meetings are taking place!


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