TENNERTON – The waiting game will go on even longer for high school winter sports in West Virginia.
Gov. Jim Justice announced a further delay to the start of the winter high school sports season during his press briefing on Wednesday, moving the original start date of Jan. 11 all the way back to March 1, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The delay will affect boys and girls basketball, wrestling, swimming and cheerleading.
The postponement means teams can neither practice nor condition, much less play actual games until March 1, barring another postponement announcement.
The WVSSAC previously released a revised season schedule based on the Jan. 11 start date earlier this month, which included pushing back the state championships for basketball until April and spring sports championships until June.
“I hate this like crazy,’’ Justice said, “but we’re going to have to move our winter sports to March 1, so that’ll be the start-up date. With sports, you’ve got all kinds of interaction that causes us all kinds of problems.
“Someway, somehow, I really and truly believe that Bernie Dolan and the SSAC ... they’ll figure it out. It may be abbreviated. But right now, it’s as simple as mud — we can’t go into gymnasiums, we can’t bring people in, parents, whatever, to watch games with what we’ve got going on today. Just think of the numbers we will have vaccinated at that time we do start. Absolutely, we are very hopeful that this thing is going to turn and we can absolutely go to where we can have the sports indoors. And we can do that starting March 1.”