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COVID-19: NY Delays Start Of HS Winter Sports Season

Winter sports have been delayed in New York.
Winter sports have been delayed in New York. Photo Credit: Pixabay

After fall sports in New York were forced to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has now announced that winter sports will also start later.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) COVID-19 Task Force met on Monday, Aug. 31, and determined that the start of winter sports will be moved from Monday, Nov. 16 to Monday, Nov. 30 to give schools and sections more time to complete the fall season.

In addition, the officers voted to approve revising the number of required practices for fall sport student-athletes to 12 practices for football and 10 for all other fall sports. 

NYSPHSAA officers' decision also includes waiving the seven consecutive day rule starting on Monday, Oct. 12, as they “continue to consider the high-risk sports of football and volleyball as fall sports, and restricting games for low and moderate risk sports to compete within their league until Monday, Oct. 19.

“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,” NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said. 

“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.”

If the fall sports seasons are interrupted or impacted by COVID-19, then a condensed seasons plan could still be implemented, officials said.

That decision would be made by the NYSPHSAA officers with the information available at that time.

“As the fall sports season starts on (Monday), 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,” NYSPHSAA President and Chair of the COVID-19 Task Force Paul Harrica said.

“The Task Force and officers spent a great deal of time discussing these topics to determine what is best for schools and student-athletes.”

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