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New restrictions don't change VHSL guidelines

While spectators will be impacted, high school student-athletes won't be affected.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's new COVID-19 restrictions will have sweeping impacts on public events throughout the state. 

This is no different for those hoping to observe high school sports in person during their upcoming adjusted competition schedule. While many localities were still in the decision-making process regarding spectators, the move from a 250-person limit down to 25 will impact those processes. 

One thing that won't be impacted by this round of guidelines will be the play on the field. Northam's newly-enacted restrictions will not keep teams from being able to compete as currently constructed. 

"The amendment on Friday was just changing the number of spectators, not the participants," said VHSL Executive Director Billy Haun. 

This doesn't mean players won't be affected.

"It does emotionally impact schools and communities, parents love to watch their kids, and communities love to watch school activities in general," Haun noted. 

Norfolk, while still awaiting a decision on whether or not their schools will compete, will make sure their community has access to games under these new restrictions. 

"One thing we have for the fan base is live streaming, when and if we get to play, we'll have that ability," said Steve Suttmiller, who is the senior coordinator of athletics for Norfolk Public Schools. 

As coronavirus evolves, so do those trying to make life as normal as possible under the circumstances, Suttmiller said. 

"It's COVID, it's the new normal, the goal is to provide a safe atmosphere," Suttmiller said. "The number two goal is to play the games."