NYSPHSAA announces fall sports start date, cancels fall championships

High School Sports

LATHAM, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Thursday, the New York State Public High school Athletic Association, of NYSPHSAA, announced its plan for fall high school sports.

NYSPHSAA voted to delay the start of the fall 2020 sports season and cancel fall championships. NYSPHSAA is also prepared to condense the sports seasons beginning in January 2021, if needed.

“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.”

The decisions the officers voted on Thursday morning include:

  • Delay Fall sports start date until Monday, September 21st (NYSPHSAA PAUSE)
  • Cancel Fall Regional and State Championship events
  • Waive seven-day practice rule
  • Maintain current practice requirements
  • Encourage geographic scheduling for games & contests
  • Schools would have the option, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season conditioning workouts.

“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 Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “At this time, Department of Health guidance presented on July 13th prohibits interscholastic athletics across the state. 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.  As an association, we must be willing to be flexible and continue to explore all options with students’ safety as our main focus.” 

If high school sports can’t be played in 2020, here is how a condensed season in 2021 would look:

Season I (Winter Sports)

Dates: Jan. 4-Mar. 13 (Week 27-36) 10 Weeks *Note: tentative dates

Sports: basketball (girls & boys), bowling (girls & boys), gymnastics, ice hockey (girls & boys), indoor track & field (girls & boys), skiing (girls & boys), swimming (boys), *wrestling, *competitive cheer.

* Because of high risk nature of wrestling and competitive cheer, sports may have to be moved to Season II or season III.

Season II (Fall Sports)

Dates: Mar. 1-May 8 (Week 35-44) 10 Weeks *Note: tentative dates

Sports: football, cross country (girls & boys), field hockey, soccer (girls & boys), swimming (girls), volleyball (girls & boys), Unified bowling.

Note: Weather will have an impact upon outdoor sports in some parts of the state in March and potentially early April.  Girls Tennis moved to Season III.

Season III (Spring Sports)

Dates: Apr. 5-Jun. 12 (Week 40-49) 10 Weeks *Note: tentative dates

Sports: baseball, softball, golf (girls & boys), lacrosse (girls & boys), tennis (girls & boys), outdoor track & field (girls & boys), Unified basketball.

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