In order to provide schools more time to complete the fall athletic season, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association voted today to delay the start of winter sports by two weeks, from Nov. 16 to Nov. 30.
NYSPHSAA officers also voted to revise the number of required practices for fall sport student-athletes: a dozen practices for football and 10 for all other fall sports.
“I am encouraged by the work of our association and state officials to provide the opportunity for schools to offer interscholastic athletics for students this fall,” the organization’s executive director, Dr. Robert Zayas, said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately all sports will look different and participation will not be the same as it was a year ago, but students will have the chance to represent their school, be around their friends and coaches, and experience a sense of normalcy this fall. It is critical that student-athletes be leaders in their schools and communities and strictly abide by COVID-19 safety protocols.”
A press release also noted that with regional differences, schools and areas will continue to be impacted differently by COVID-19, and a condensed season plan remains a possibility.
“That decision will be made by the NYSPHSAA officers with the information available at that time,” the release stated.
Fall sports are scheduled to start Sept. 21.
“…We felt it was most appropriate to delay the start of the winter sports season by two weeks to afford sections and schools additional time to play the fall sports seasons before the winter seasons began,” said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA’s president and the chair of its COVID-19 Task Force. “The Task Force and officers spent a great deal of time discussing these topics to determine what is best for schools and student-athletes.”