Section III will play low and moderate risk fall sports under state guidance

High School Sports

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Section III athletics of NYSPHSAA announced on Friday that fall sports will proceed as anticipated based on guidance from New York State.

Practices for low and moderate risk fall sports can start on Sept. 21 and practices for high-risk sports can start March 1, 2021.

We’ve received feedback this week from the majority of our 104 member schools. More specifically, 97 schools responded with 58% indicating they are ready to begin fall sports, and 42% requesting a delay of fall sports until after January 1, 2021. “We understand the challenges many schools face and the difficult decisions superintendents, principals, and athletic administrators are being required to make to keep student-athletes, spectators, and sport officials safe. We continue to stay committed to providing support to our member schools and the student-athletes we serve.

John Rathbun — Section III Executive Director

Boys and girls soccer, boys golf, cross country, girls swimming, girls tennis and field hockey can all begin practices on the Sept. 21st.

The plan, which was approved on Friday by the Section III Executive Committee, emphasizes no fall sectional tournament competition.

The following guiding principles grounded the decision-making process:

  • Ensure health and safety of all student-athletes
  • Re-engage all student-athletes as soon as possible for their social, emotional and mental well-being
  • Maximize participation across all sports and all student-athletes
  • Keep competition as local as possible for as long as possible
  • Maintain the ability to go to back-up plans when deemed necessary
  • The fall of 2020 season there will be no sectional or NYSPHSAA regional or state completions (Fall Season I and Fall Season II)

We understand and recognize the issues of equity and access this decision will create for schools and leagues within our section. For a variety of legitimate and logistical reasons, some school districts may opt out of our fall sports season. In those cases, we respect the individual district decision.

Joseph DeBarbieri — Section III President

The Section III committee and executive director will continue to monitor additional guidance from New York State.

nder guidance from NYSPHSAA, competition cannot be played outside of a team’s region or section until October 19th.


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