Virginia High School League asks teams, referees to avoid handshakes

Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 18:52:42-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Watch a few minutes of a high school state basketball tournament game, and you'll quickly learn basketball is a contact sport. However, the VHSL wants the contact to be limited to on the court.

In a memo provided to school principals and athletics directors, the Virginia High School League (VHSL) is asking teams and officials to not shake hands.

Here is the memo in its entirety:

While the VHSL recognizes good sportsmanship is one of our core values, the VHSL is asking its players, coaches and referees to not engage in its traditional pregame and postgame handshakes at the state basketball semifinals and finals in order to limit skin-on-skin contact that could spread COVID-19.

Just as with other illnesses, the VHSL is asking fans; participating coaches and students, and tournament officials and staff to do their parts in helping prevent the spread of illnesses. The CDC recommends these everyday preventative steps:

  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick;

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;

  • Stay home when you are sick;

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, and

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

VHSL state basketball semifinals were conducted Tuesday at various sites across Virginia. State championship games will be held in Richmond, on the campus of VCU, this weekend.