NYSPHSAA Cancels Winter Championships, Postpones High-Risk Sports

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced that all winter championships will be cancelled due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

State championships that are canceled include bowling, basketball, boys swimming & diving, competitive cheerleading, gymnastics, indoor track & field, ice hockey, skiing, and wresting. The organization has also postponed all high-risk sports until state officials grant authorization.

“When examining the feasibility of Winter State Championships, it became apparent that travel and overnight accommodations would create a unique challenge for our member schools,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “At this time, we must prioritize maximizing student participation without a focus on championship events.”

Along with travel concerns, officials noted issue with the logistics regarding hotel accommodations, transportation, and planning for meals. Furthermore, venue capacity limitations and social distancing increase the difficulty in ensuring the safety of student-athletes, coaches, and families.

These sports are determined by the New York State Department of Health to be high-risk and will be postponed until further notice: basketball, boys lacrosse, competitive cheerleading, football, ice hockey, volleyball, and wrestling.

Low- and moderate-risk regular season sports will continue to be permitted, officials said. Additionally, the 2021 NYSPHSAA Spring State Championships remain scheduled.

“As an educator, I am witnessing first-hand the challenges our member schools are facing each day in addressing this pandemic,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “It is important we continue listening to the concerns being expressed by our membership when making decisions impacting interscholastic athletics.”

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