SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – The New York State Public High School Athletic Association made the decision to cancel spring sports state championships on Monday, April 27th. A decision that was expected.
“If you consider the actual time that’s left in the school year its not surprising by any stretch of the imagination,” said John Rathbun, Executive Director of Section III Athletics.
With the decision, each section has a choice on whether to compete in a regular season or not. Section III held a survey last week with all of the schools in the section to determine the interest of holding spring sports activities if students return to school. Rathbun said 75% of schools were in favor of holding “some sort of after school activities”.
Right now, the New York Pause from Governor Andrew Cuomo is in effect until May 15th which means school would not begin until May 18th. The length of any season is dependent on when students return to school.
“At a minimum we’d like to have at least two games so that way schools can have a senior night. But we would go for as many games as we can in the time that we had left in the school year. Whatever that school year may be,” said Rathbun. “The key is we have to be able to do it in a safe environment. We would always put safety first before we try to push anything along.”
If students can return to school, there needs to be an appropriate amount of days for each sport to practice before beginning any competition. Then a schedule will be set to figure out the logistics within each league of who plays when. Rathbun also added there is a safety committee looking at options to continue to keep athletes safe during competition.
The latest Section III is looking to play any competitions would be June 20th.
“We are still in a holding pattern. We’re waiting on guidance from Governor Cuomo’s office and from each of our county executives,” said Rathbun.
According to the National Sporting Goods Association, there are now just five states that have yet to cancel either spring championships or spring activities entirely.