Although public schools from neighboring counties across the Washington area have maintained similar restrictions on activities for two weeks, private schools have had more leeway in imposing restrictions on their teams' games.

Schools in the immediate suburbs have stayed indoors, but those in Loudoun and Fauquier counties are in leagues that include schools far removed from much of the sniper's activities. In certain cases, that has provided a degree of security but often not enough.

The Delaney Athletic Conference, which includes Wakefield and Highland, canceled competition in volleyball, soccer, cross-country, girls' tennis and golf through last week. At a meeting on Monday, the DAC is to determine whether to hold its playoffs, which could start Thursday and run through the weekend.

"If this guy is not caught, we're done," said Wakefield Athletic Director Tom Veith.

Veith added that the postseason tournament might be amended to include only the top four or six teams. Postseason singles tournaments for golf and tennis have been canceled, and no plans have been formulated for team tournaments in those sports.

The situation is particularly frustrating for teams such as Wakefield's girls' tennis. The Owls have finished second in the DAC for four consecutive seasons but are now tied for first with Highland. Wakefield may not have a chance to earn an outright championship.

"We've told the coaches to still practice in the event that there is a tournament," said Veith, who added that teams have had difficulty doing so in the confines of school buildings.

Notre Dame, not affiliated with a conference, has canceled all games since the shooting began but still plans to participate in the Virginia Independent Schools tournament next week. The tennis and volleyball tournaments are to begin at sites of the higher-seeded teams on Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, respectively. Cross-country is scheduled Nov. 1 at Woodberry Forest.

"It's a difficult time," said Notre Dame Athletic Director J.D. Almond, "but we're just going one week at a time."

Foxcroft plays in the Independent School League, which includes 16 other schools from Potomac, Md., and Vienna, and last week, the Foxes played their first games in two weeks. They hosted St. Stephen's/St. Agnes in field hockey Thursday and Madeira on Friday in volleyball. But Friday's soccer match with Georgetown Day was canceled.

"Anybody willing to come out here is coming," said Foxcroft Athletic Director Jackie Southerland. "But we're being extra cautious. We're not going outside unnecessarily. . . . Most schools in the league are going day by day."