On January 27, 2021

State expands high school sports practices, allows ski competitions

By Andy Kirkaldy

Gov. Phil Scott eased some restrictions on school and recreational sports practices, effective Jan. 18. Among the changes, outdoor ski teams will be allowed to compete this winter, Scott said in his Jan. 15 news conference.

Nordic skiers from Otter Valley union high schools could begin to hit the trails soon.

OVUHS skiers have a half-dozen meets on a modified schedule, beginning Jan. 27, with the first three meets set to be hosted by Woodstock, Mount Anthony and Brattleboro. Per state officials, the relaxed guidelines will allow only 25 skiers to compete at a time during meets.

OVUHS Nordic will not host meets. The Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, normally the venue for the Otters’ home meets, has said it will not host races, according to Otter Valley Athletic Director Steve Keith.

Alpine ski teams across the state are also gearing up for races beginning this week.

As for the rest of the sports that could see competition — indoor track and wrestling had already been ruled out — Gov. Scott said practices could move into what he and other officials are referring as “Phase II” of winter sports.

Previously, practices could only consist of contactless skill and conditioning drills. Now, Gov. Scott said, teams can include drills with limited contact and conduct intra-squad scrimmages. Masks will still be required, and no scrimmages against other schools will be allowed.

Scott said state officials are still looking at allowing games and competitions at some point this winter, with the timing depending on Covid-19 statistics.

“We know how important these activities are for our kids’ wellbeing, both for their physical and mental health,” Scott said. “It is my hope that we’ll soon be able to allow for competitions. But as with every decision we make, it will be based on our data and the advice of our experts.”

Officials decided to allow schools to take this next step, Scott said, because there has been no evidence of “spread of the virus tied to these activities,” meaning during school practices, up to this point.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Vermont Legislature adjourns after a contentious 2024 session

May 15, 2024
Session was shaped by debates over property taxes, housing shortages, flood recovery and public safety By Sarah Mearhoff and Shaun Robinson/VTDigger After a tumultuous day of dealmaking on housing, land use and property tax measures, the Vermont Legislature adjourned its 2024 session in the early hours of Saturday morning, May 11. The Senate gaveled out at 1:18 a.m.…

New data shows first decrease in Vermont opioid deaths since 2019

May 15, 2024
Overdose deaths in Vermont have decreased for the first time since 2019. According to the Dept. of Health’s newly released Annual Fatal Overdose Report, opioid-related overdoses resulted in the death of 231 Vermonters in 2023, a 5% drop from 2022 when 244 Vermonters died. The overdose report includes data on Vermonters who died of any drug…

Safe bet

May 15, 2024
After a week of long days and late nights, the regular session of the 2024 Vermont Legislature adjourned early Saturday morning just after 2 a.m. My best guess in the annual adjournment pool was 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, which turned out to be way too optimistic. When the Legislature finishes its work for the session,…

A lot accomplished this Legislative session

May 15, 2024
Vermont’s 2023-24 Legislative Biennium ended in the wee hours of Saturday morning May 11. The Senate gaveled out at 1:18 a.m. and the House about 2 a.m. This has been a hard session. It was begun in the wake of a natural disaster, with a state recovering from terrible flooding. Despite these challenges we managed…