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Change allows unvaccinated cheerleaders to compete for state championship

With a change to the capacity limit, the NYSPHSAA event at RIT will now go on as planned, just without any fans to cheer on the teams.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — High school cheerleaders who are not vaccinated will be able to compete for a state championship after all.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association on Friday approved a capacity limit on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology, which will allow the unvaccinated student-athletes to compete.

"By holding capacity to under 400, the RIT policy does not require vaccinations or testing for anyone entering their facilities," the NYSPHSAA said in a statement. "The Executive Committee approval eliminates the ability to accommodate spectators."

The state championships will be held March 5 at Gordon Fieldhouse.

Parents had shared their concerns about children not competing. They told 2 On Your Side that they had asked for a change of venue.

Parents such as Nicole Malczewski, whose daughter is a cheerleader at West Seneca East, sought a solution fast. 

"Absolutely, it can be an easy fix. How about we change the venue?" she said.

With the capacity limit, the NYSPHSAA event will now go on as planned, just without any fans to cheer on the teams.

“Due to membership concerns, the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee held an emergency meeting today to discuss our Competitive Cheerleading State Championships,” Dr. Robert Zayas, the NYSPHSAA executive director, said in a statement.

“Although today’s action of the Executive Committee will result in spectators not being able to attend, all student-athletes will have the opportunity to represent their school and compete for the title of state champion.”

The event will be live-streamed in the NFHS website.


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