BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — High-risk fall sports have been put on hold. On Wednesday night, the NYSPHSAA announced high-risk fall sports including football, volleyball, and competitive cheer, will be pushed to the spring season with a practice start date of March 1st, 2021. This comes weeks after high-risk sports were told they could begin practicing, but not compete.
“We’ve spent two days speaking with nearly 500 athletic directors across the state and it’s clear that administering high-risk fall sports during the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge for our member schools,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “These are unprecedented times and unfortunately, difficult decisions will have to be made to address this ongoing crisis. We continue to stay committed to providing support to our member schools and quality participation experiences for the students we serve.”
The revised season for high-risk fall sports will be known as “Fall Sports Season II”. As a result, the scheduled spring season (consisting of regularly scheduled spring sports) will begin practices on April 19th. This will allow some multi-sport athletes to take part.
“The NYSPHSAA officers have determined it would be unrealistic to host football, volleyball and competitive cheer seasons this fall,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “This continues to be the most challenging situation educators have ever addressed. I, along with my fellow officers, believe the participation experiences for football, volleyball and competitive cheer athletes will be more beneficial in the spring than in the fall.”
Low-risk sports are still a go and can begin practicing on September 21st, competing within their section or league until October 19th. Fall regional and state championships have already been canceled. Low-risk sports include cross country, girls tennis, girls swimming & diving, gymnastics, soccer, field hockey, and golf.
Winter sports have already been delayed to the end of November. No other decisions have been made.