In a move that could dramatically shake up the landscape for both the Virginia High School League and the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association, Liberty Christian Academy reached a settlement with the VHSL in its antitrust lawsuit on Wednesday. The VHSL’s executive committee officially agreed to allow LCA to join and compete in the VHSL ranks including the postseason starting this August.
In a press release LCA superintendent John Patterson said, “LCA is very pleased with this resolution which we believe will benefit all high school students and their families.”
In that same press release Ken Tilley, the VHSL’s executive director said, “The VHSL is gratified to reach an agreement in this case, and we are excited to focus our attention on meeting the League’s mission of service to its member schools and providing lifetime opportunities for students through the participation in sports and academic activities.”
This agreement makes Virginia the 48th state to group both public and private schools into one governing body. With that said, there are a number of provisions that other private schools must meet to join as LCA now has. First, no boarding schools are currently allowed in the VHSL. The traditional transfer rules will apply in all cases except in the case of a student moving to a member private school that attended a non-member school or was home schooled. As far as student eligibility goes, while the details were in not included in the release, it is said that any school that joins the VHSL “must meet the same individual participant eligibility requirements and regulations as public school students currenty meet with minor changes and adjustments.”
All private schools that join the VHSL will be subject to a multiplier rule for the playoffs. That multiplier is one and a half times enrollment for schools that are open to boys and girls, two times for single gender schools.
LCA will join a very different looking Conference 23 that will inculude just one Jefferson District school, Charlottesville High. Other members include GW Danville, Amherst, E.C. Glass and Jefferson Forest. Louisa is headed to Conference 19 in the new alignment.