The New York State Public High School Athletic Association delayed the start of the fall sports season to Sept. 21, and canceled all fall 2020 regional and state championships.
If sports remain prohibited through 2020 due to COVID-19, a condensed athletic schedule is prepared that will tentatively begin on Jan. 4.
“As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start on August 24th as originally scheduled,” said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA president. “The priority will continue to be on the educational process and a return to learning in the safest way possible.”
Earlier this month, the state allowed low-risk youth sports to return to action including baseball and softball. But scholastic sports were prohibited on July 13. Colleges across the state are either delaying season openers or cancelling fall seasons all together.
“We recognize this is challenging for everyone, but the decisions made at the state level are based upon data and statewide infection rates all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID and reopen responsibly,” said Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director. “The association will continue to follow state guidance and will work collectively with state officials to ensure high school athletics will start up responsibly in the future.”
If fall sports are allowed to start on Sept. 21, the association’s Board of Directors will allow schools to waive the seven-day practice rule, encourage geographic scheduling for games and contests and give schools the option to offer off-season conditioning workouts.
If the fall sports is not allowed to commence in September, the following “condensed schedule” of 10-weeks each would tentatively go into effect.
Season I (Winter Sports)
Jan. 4 to Mar. 13: basketball, bowling, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor track and field, skiing, swimming, wrestling, competitive cheer. The last two are considered “high risk” and might be moved to later seasons.
Season II (Fall Sports)
Mar. 1-May 8: football, cross country, field hockey, soccer, swimming (girls), volleyball, unified bowling.
Season III (Spring Sports)
Apr. 5-Jun. 12: baseball, softball, golf, lacrosse, tennis, outdoor track and field, unified basketball.
NYSPHSAA has the ability to adjust seasons as the situation dictates.