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Update: VHSL Removes Crew from Sports List

The Virginia High School League decided Wednesday to remove crew and men's gymnastics from its list of high school sports.

Update - 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 -- The Virginia High School League decided Wednesday, on a 10 – 9 vote with four abstentions, to proceed with removing crew from its forms.

The affect of the move is up for debate. Crew teams generally do not received funding directly from VHSL, but some school systems use VHSL inclusion as a determining factor for funding and other support.

Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association’s John White said his organization would reassess the situation in the coming weeks. 

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Original Post 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19

VHSL Responds to Crew Parents, 

Parents, crew team members and coaches in McLean and beyond are quite concerned about a move in December by the Virgnia High School League to remove crew from its list of sports.

Crew participants and fans brought up concerns that the funding and other support VHSL provides could be taken away from the sport and stunt its growth.

Patch published an initial article about the change and local parents' efforts to get VHSL to reverse its the decision Tuesday morning.

See:

In an initial statement to Patch, Virginia High School League's Tom Dolan, assistant director, wrote: "To my knowledge we have not eliminated any sports/activities. We did however remove from the membership form two sports that we do not currently recognize in our handbook. The decision to remove crew from this form is being reconsidered at our Executive Committee meeting tomorrow morning."

In a follow-up statement addressing Patch's request for clarification on what removal from the form means, Dolan said: "It was not a recognized sport in the VHSL handbook and it was not a sport that culminated in a VHSL state championship so it was removed. Concerns raised by the removal  include event sanctioning and insurance. Those concerns are the reason it is being reconsidered tomorrow."

VHSL runs most league, regional and state tournaments for many sports, including basketball, football and other sports at schools across the state. Crew's championships are run by the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Assocition.

VHSL's executive leadership team is set to meet Wednesday in Richmond to render a final decision on crew's inclusion. VASRA President John White said he intends to be there.

Patch will have more information on the issue later this week. 

See also: 

Letter to the Editor: VHSL Should Keep Crew

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