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VISAA decides not to hold state wrestling tournament

VISAA decides not to hold state wrestling tournament

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St. Christopher’s Riley Finck and Randolph Macon Academy’s Sulaiman Wardak wrestle in the 132 pound class during the VISAA state wrestling tournament at The Meadow Event Park Friday, February 14, 2020.

The Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association will not hold a state wrestling tournament, although schools have the option to hold an unsanctioned invitational, VISAA executive director Dick Kemper said.

The VISAA said in late November that it planned to hold state championship tournaments for private schools in basketball, indoor track, and swimming and diving during the winter season, with schools having open invitations to participate instead of qualifying. The association indicated then it wouldn’t hold a state tournament for wrestling, but that decision was reviewed.

Kemper said the VISAA executive committee decided Tuesday to cancel the wrestling tournament because COVID-19 cases around the state have been rising, it’s considered a higher-risk sport by the National Federation of State High School Associations, and the committee didn’t think there would be enough teams.

Kemper said there are about 30 private schools wrestling. Only a few indicated they’d be willing to participate in a state tournament, he said. He also said “it’s hard to mandate testing, but we were going to do that if we had the tournament, and the schools were going to have to pay for that.”

For basketball and indoor track, the VISAA is surveying members “to indicate whether they will participate in the state tournaments with stricter safety protocols recommended by our [sports medicine advisory committee],” Kemper said.

The boys and girls basketball tournaments are scheduled to be held Feb. 23-27. Indoor track is scheduled for Feb. 20, with swimming and diving Feb. 19-20. The swimming meet will be virtual.

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