Panthers News · Virtual Sport Season FAQ


MCPS & Paint Branch Virtual Sports Q and A 

When are the virtual seasons?

Fall – September 14th through October 16th (registration is now open!closes 9/9/20

Winter – October 26th through December 4th (registration will open prior to the start date)

Spring – December 14th through January 22nd (registration will open prior to the start date)

Do students need to register for the virtual engagement seasons?

Yes! Students can be registered (by a parent) using this link for Fall Registration.

Do students need an up to date physical in order to participate in the virtual engagement seasons?

Yes! The good news is that MCPS has relaxed the requirement, so that physicals are valid for two years instead of one calendar year. So if a student submitted an up to date physical to Paint Branch in the 2019-2020 school year, the physical is still valid and on file. Students who have not submitted a physical Since October 2018 must submit a new, updated physical.

How can we submit a physical?

You can upload the physical during the online registration process. You can also send a physical electronically to Ms. Heather Podosek, Athletic Director at Paint Branch High School.

Do I need to submit paperwork for the parent permission slip?

No, this form is incorporated into the google form.  There is no form to submit.  Simply agree to all the questions asked.

Are there tryouts for the virtual engagement season?

No – virtual engagement is open to any students who are interested in a sport. There are no tryouts or cuts during the virtual engagement.

How often will the virtual engagement meet during the defined season?

Engagement will vary from sport to sport and from school to school, and even from week to week. However, on average, there will likely be around 3-5 engagements per week per sport. Virtual engagement will be done outside of school hours and/or on Saturdays.

Is there an academic eligibility requirement?

MCPS has waived the academic eligibility requirement for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. (Normally, students must have achieved at least a 2.0 GPA on the most recent report card).

Will all sports be offered through virtual engagement?

Yes – all of our traditional sports will offer virtual engagement. The only change is that Cheer will only be offered in the Fall season, and Poms will only be offered in the Winter season.

What is virtual engagement, anyway?

Virtual engagement will include system-wide (MCPS) resources, schoolwide (Paint Branch) activities, sport-specific engagement and team-specific opportunities. Examples include guest speakers, conditioning workouts, character development, chalk talks, film study, social-emotional support, and other engaging activities.

Can we meet in-person with our coaches, or organize in-person gatherings among students to workout or meet?

At this time, MCPS is NOT permitted to engage in any in-person activities.

Can I participate in more than one sport per season?

No, students are only allowed to do one sport per season.

Will there be any in person sports this year?

At this time, MCPS is planning for in person seasons starting in the second semester.  All decisions will be based on local health decisions.

Do I need to participate in  virtual sports in order to do the spring in person seasons?

No.  The two seasons will be independent of one another.  If you choose not to participate in the virtual program, you can still participate in the spring season during the in person season.  At the same time, participation in the virtual season does not guarantee that you will be part of the team in the spring.  There will be full tryouts and cuts for the in person season.  Virtual participation will have no bearing on spring cuts.

Can we have captains practices?

Per MCPS policy, captains’ practices are always prohibited.  

Will the actual coaches be running the virtual practices?

Yes the actual sport coach will be running the practices?

How will Varsity and JV be decided?

That will be up to the coach to decide.  Since there are NO varsity letters given this fall, and everyone is allowed to participate, coaches will decide how to run the team practices.  They will decide what works best for their staff and their program.  You could be a senior and the jv coach could be running your session any given day.

How do I know if my registration went through or if I need a new physical?

You will get an email from the athletic department or the coach within the next few days.

Will my middle school physical be allowed?

Maybe. We do not have access to middle school physicals.  If you have an MCPS SR-8 form(sports physical) signed within the past year, that will work.  We have no access to physicals turned into Middle Schools.

Will we need any equipment?

No.  At this point no equipment will be required since all instruction is virtual.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the coaching staff directly, or to Ms. Heather Podosek, Athletic Director at Paint Branch.