BUFFALO (WKBW) — The fall sports season for athletes in New York public high schools will see some big changes in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has announced that the start of the fall 2020 season will be delayed until September 21st. In addition, the fall 2020 Regional and State Championships have been canceled. The decision comes at the recommendation of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force.
“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 in a statement. “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.
With regional differences, schools and areas will be impacted differently by the COVID-19 crisis. At the discretion of the NYSPHSAA Officers and authorization from state officials, if the fall sports seasons are interrupted or impacted by COVID-19 crisis (i.e. state official guidance, school closings, cancelation of high-risk sports, etc.) then a condensed seasons plan will be implemented.
The Condensed Season plan would entail the following, with the stipulated dates being tentative.
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), *wrestling, *competitive cheer.
* Because of high risk nature of wrestling and competitive cheer, sports may have to 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.
Note: Weather will have an impact upon outdoor sports in some parts of the state in March and potentially early April. Girls Tennis 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.