Creating contingencies: NYSPHSAA holds second COVID-19 Task Force meeting

High School Sports

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – UPDATE – The NYSPHSAA has released its “starting point” scenarios to deal with potential actions necessary as a result of COVID-19 with more information on how those seasons could look. There are six scenarios in total, for now.

  • Scenario 1 – Schools held in-person. Sports played with socially distancing restrictions
  • Scenario 2 – Hybrid of in-person learning and distance learning
  • Scenario 3 – Only distance learning
  • Scenario 4 – Hybrid learning with sports not included at the beginning of the school year
  • Scenario 5 – Only distance learning with sports not included at the beginning of the school year
  • Scenario 6 – Regional Differences

With scenarios 2 and 3, low risk sports as determined by the NFHS(golf, tennis, cross country, swimming, gymnastics and volleyball) would start first in the fall. Sports classified as more of moderate risk sports(basketball, indoor track, hockey, skiing and unified bowling) would start in the winter and high risk sports(football, soccer, field hockey, cheer, baseball, softball, outdoor track, lacrosse, wrestling and unified bowling) would be in the spring.

In the events of scenario 4 and 5, there would be condensed sports seasons starting closer to January and going all the way through June. There are tentative dates associated with every scenario. It is also noted in the new release that the spring seasons could go into July.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas said he would not categorize any scenario as “perfect” and every one has “issues”.

For more info on each scenario click here.


The New York State Public High School Athletic Association held its second COVID-19 task force meeting on Tuesday morning. The NYSPHSAA was given updates on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state from the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.

Schools are still prohibited from holding any indoor activities, any organized sports at school facilities or any in-person instruction excluding special education. Governor Andrew Cuomo will have the final say on when schools resume and ultimately a return to athletics.

The Task Force did go over six potential scenarios for a return to school and athletic events. The Task Force reviewed scenarios in the event of a full return to school, a combination of distance and in-person learning, or only distance learning. Each scenario was the discussed with and without students participating in athletics, whether in a full season or condensed season format.

Dr. Robert Zayas met with the media today for 40 minutes to go over the meeting and take questions. Topics discussed are below.

  • Dr. Zayas is still drafting ‘proposal scenarios’ that would be presented to the Task Force and then to each school district
  • The Task Force awaits guidance from the Board of Regents and the NYSED to direct it on how to proceed with the best scenario that would apply. That guidance is expected to be released on or after July 13th – the hope is that athletics are addressed in that guidance
  • Dr. Zayas hopes schools have at least six weeks to prepare both academically and athletically once it is determined it is safe to resume to those activities
  • Dr. Zayas says he hopes the NFHS will provide guidance on procedures for a high school student testing positive for COVID-19 during a potential season
  • He reiterated that if they had to, its possible that the NYSPHSAA could hold “low risk sports” only this fall with the hope of “moderate risk” and “high risk” sports later, but that is still preliminary
  • There has been no guidance on daily testing or potential testing procedures academically or athletically, including who would pay for testing if needed to return to school
  • Transportation has been a concern for athletic competition and needs to be addressed by Task Force

Also at the meeting was a presentation of the EzSCRN Application if students have to be screened for COVID-19 to return to school. Discussion of its usage will continue.

The next task force meeting date has not been announced but the hope is for no later than late July.

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