As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the region, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced high-risk winter sports will be delayed to January.
High-risk sports include basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling. The new start date will be Jan. 4, with NYSPHSAA member schools prohibited from participating in sports determined to be high risk by the New York State Department of Health.
“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “Minimizing risk and exposure to COVID-19 is a top priority of the Association. We continue to make these types of decisions based upon readily available information and communication with state officials.”
Despite the delay, low- and moderate-risk sports, including bowling, gymnastics, indoor track & field, skiing, and swimming & diving are permitted to begin on Nov. 30 for those schools and sections who have determined it feasible to host interscholastic athletics at that time.
Regular season games or contests can begin for low- and moderate-risk winter sports once student-athletes have participated in the required number of practices as per NYSPHSAA bylaws. At this time, all winter NYSPHSAA State Championship events remain as scheduled.
“NYSPHSAA’s leadership recognizes the numerous challenges interscholastic programs are experiencing and the obstacles associated with resuming high risk sports,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “While it is certainly the goal of the Association to provide all students with the ability to participate in interscholastic athletics we must remain steadfast in our decisions to ensure the safety of our athletes is our focus.”