Vermont officials announced plans Tuesday to play high school football in the fall. It might look a little different, however, as the Vermont Principal's Association is working on plans for gridiron action to be 7-on-7 touch football.
Multiple new outlets reported the major change to the game while also noting high school volleyball matches will be played outdoors. Other restrictions call for mandatory mask use
by all athletes except cross country runners during competition, spectator limits and that contests likely won't begin until mid-September, two weeks after the beginning of school.
"A lot of it comes down to blocking and players being really close to
each other — respiratory droplets on each other, breathing on each
other, when a player is tackled there is a whole group of people
together," Vermont Principals' Association Executive Director Jay Nichols told the Burlington Free Press
. "It became very clear that football is
The Vermont Interscholastic Football League and state association are working on the logistics as teams across the country often compete during the summer months in 7-on-7 leagues to hone developmental skills.
The fall season still hinges on the state moving to Step III of its school reopening plan that allows for in-person instruction.
The announcement came during Gov. Phil Scott's media briefing where
mandatory mask wearing was announced throughout the state, adding "we're
having masks in school and we feel ... sports should be included as
For volleyball, teams may practice indoors, but contest against other schools must be outdoors, and masks are required for all events except cross country and golf. Plans call for no more than 150 spectators and schools to maintain socially distanced stands.
"We really feel that sports and all extracurricular activities are an
extension of the school day," Nichols said, who added that about 10,000 high school students participate in sports. "If we're going to ask kids
to come back to school in person, which as much as we can think we
should, we should also make those extracurricular activities available