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NYSPHSAA to delay fall sports start date and cancelled fall championships

Officials say they are also preparing to implement a condensed season in January 2021 if high school sports remain prohibited in New York state through 2020.

LATHAM, N.Y. — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), announced Thursday that the official start date of the fall 2020 sports season will be delayed and that the Fall 2020 Regional and State Championships will be cancelled due to the pandemic. 

Officials say they are also preparing to implement a condensed season in January 2021 if high school sports remain prohibited in New York state through 2020.

“As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start on August 24th as originally scheduled,” said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA President. “The priority will continue to be on the educational process and a return to learning in the safest way possible.”

The NYSPHSAA Officers’ decision includes:

• Delay Fall sports start date until Monday, September 21st (NYSPHSAA PAUSE)

• Cancel Fall Regional and State Championship events

• Waive seven-day practice rule

• Maintain current practice requirements

• Encourage geographic scheduling for games & contests

• Schools would have the option, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season conditioning workouts.

“We recognize this is challenging for everyone, but the decisions made at the State level are based upon data and statewide infection rates all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID and reopen responsibly,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “

Interscholastic athletics across the state are currently prohibited. 

Should high schools start a condensed season in January 2021, the plan would entail the following:

Season I (Winter Sports)

Dates: Jan. 4-Mar. 13 (Week 27-36) 10 Weeks *Note: tentative dates

Sports: basketball (girls & boys), bowling (girls & boys), gymnastics, ice hockey (girls & boys), indoor track & field (girls & boys), skiing (girls & boys), swimming (boys), 

Due to the high-risk nature of wrestling and competitive cheer, those sports may be moved to season II or season III. 

Season II (Fall Sports)

Dates: Mar. 1-May 8 (Week 35-44) 10 Weeks *Note: tentative dates

Sports: football, cross country (girls & boys), field hockey, soccer (girls & boys), swimming (girls), volleyball (girls & boys), Unified bowling.

Girls Tennis will be moved to Season III.

Season III (Spring Sports)

Dates: Apr. 5-Jun. 12 (Week 40-49) 10 Weeks *Note: tentative dates

Sports: baseball, softball, golf (girls & boys), lacrosse (girls & boys), tennis (girls & boys), outdoor track & field (girls & boys), Unified basketball.