A groundswell of voices across the Mountain State seeking an earlier resumption of winter sports has caught the ear of Gov. Jim Justice.

Justice, during Monday’s press briefing, said that winter sports competitions may begin on March 3, with practices set to resume on Feb. 14.

“Our medical experts are going to advise me on expanding the orange zone,” Justice said, referring to the COVID-19 metrics map used in determining what extracurricular activities may be held.  “We may be expanding the orange zone, which will allow us a little bit of additional freedoms and everything in regard to our ability to go to school in orange not be as restrictive as we have been.”

When practices resume, teams must get 14 practice days in prior to the start of official competition. There is a 16-day window to get the required practices in.

With the return of winter high school sports on a fast-track, of sorts, officials of the WVSSAC met virtually with coaches and athletic directors across the state to revise the winter and spring sports calendars. These updates are subject to approval from Justice and Dr. Clayton Burch, West Virginia’s state superintendent of schools.

The move also means updated post-season schedules are in the works.

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