Sports and More for High School Students in VA

Since 1913, The Virginia High School League based in Charlottesville, VA, has been “building a foundation for Virginia ’s youth.”  The Virginia High School League (VHSL) has a long tradition of offering valuable opportunities to the young people of Virginia .  From sports to academics, the VHSL has something for every ambitious student.  The league was originally founded by members of the Washington and Jefferson Literary Societies at UVA as a debate league for high school age students in Virginia .  Over 100 schools were enrolled in the new Literary League by autumn of 1914.  Shortly after, it expanded into baseball, basketball and track.  By 1916 there were 250 member schools in the organization.

Today the Virginia High School League has a lengthy selection of enriching activities to choose from including creative writing, swimming, wrestling, cheering, theater, newspapers and so much more.  The VHSL boasts over 300 member schools and more than 150,000 students state-wide participate in the many sports and enrichment programs.  The benefits of membership for the schools are a common set of competition rules across the board, workshops and competitions in which all members are eligible to participate, necessary materials and supplies for activities, and even catastrophic insurance coverage for students.

The Virginia High School League encourages good academic performance and maintenance by allowing participation only to those students who meet and uphold certain eligibility requirements.  The student must be enrolled in good standing in the school he represents.  The student must have passed the necessary number of classes in the previous semester to participate in any VHSL programs during his current semester.  Students must be amateurs in whatever area they have chosen to participate in, and they must have a current physical along with parental permission to take part.  The privilege of participating in the Virginia High School League must be earned.

Not only are the students expected to keep to a set of admirable standards, officials and coaches who are there to lead and mentor the students keep to their own set of high standards.  The VHSL offers educational opportunities in the form of classes, workshops and certification for those who wish to lead the young people who participate in the VHSL programs.  Such classes as “Coaching Principles” and “Sport First Aid” are among the valuable offerings for effective VHSL leadership.  More than 30,000 coaches have been credentialed through these classes.  All league officials must be properly trained as outlined by the VHSL and pass a certification test. Guidelines for drug testing and managing injury are also maintained by the VHSL and made available to its member schools.

It has been shown that students who participate in co-curricular activities such as those offered by The Virginia High School League grow into more well-rounded adults with leadership skills, good citizenship skills, and the self-esteem to make a positive difference in their own lives and contribute to the well-being of their communities.