CNY school districts work to figure out fall sports plans

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CENTRAL SQUARE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — While Central New York school districts wait for specifics on the fall sports season, several are putting together plans already based on what they know.

On Friday afternoon, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) is expected to release a comprehensive document with full guidelines for coaches, athletes, parents and referees.

NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas tells NewsChannel 9 Thursday that the document is already at 57 pages.

The NYSPHSAA officers had already voted Monday to delay the start of the winter sports season from Nov. 16 to Nov. 30 to give schools and sections more time to complete the fall athletic season.

The officers also voted to approve revising the number of required practices up for fall sport student-athletes — 12 practices for football and 10 for all other fall sports.

The NYSPHSAA officers’ decision also includes waiving the seven consecutive day rule starting on Oct. 12, continuing to consider the high-risk sports of football and volleyball as fall sports, and restricting games for low and moderate risk sports to compete within their league and/or section until Oct. 19.

Central Square has already been working on its plan to be ready for whatever comes from NYSPHSAA.

“We just wanted to make sure the kids had their physicals, and immunizations shots to be able to play sports and we could figure out the bussing situation,” Central Square Superintendent Tom Colabufo tells NewsChannel 9.

Districts are not required to provide bussing for fall sports athletes. Central Square says so far more than 50% of families responding to a district survey say they will not need transportation, but the district says that’s close to half that will need it.

Colabufo says, “We believe in customer service here, and we don’t want some students not taking part in sports because they don’t have a way to get there.”

There is no charge for transportation which will include five different pickup and drop off points around the 200-square mile district. That includes two on the North Shore.

While the governor has left it up to individual districts to decide whether or not they’ll play fall sports, Colabufo says in Central Square it was never a debate.

“We have some kids that wouldn’t come to school if they didn’t have that level of engagement and the ones that do come it’s just that additional incentive and we don’t want to take that away as long as we’re able to do that,” he tells NewsChannel 9.

All fall sports are allowed to start on Sept. 21, but only low and moderate risk sports right now are sanctioned to also play games.


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