NYSPHSAA says start date for high-risk sports is Jan. 4

LATHAM, N.Y. — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that the start date for high risk winter sports — basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling — will be moved to Jan. 4.

Until authorization is granted by state officials, NYSPHSAA member schools are not permitted to participate in sports determined to be high risk by the New York State Department of Health. Low- and moderate-risk winter sports will be permitted to begin on Nov. 30 as previously determined by NYSPHSAA.

“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director. “Minimizing risk and exposure to COVID-19 is a top priority of the association. We continue to make these types of decisions based upon readily available information and communication with state officials.”

Low- and moderate-risk winter sport practices (bowling, gymnastics, indoor track & field, skiing, and swimming & diving) are still on schedule to begin on Nov. 30 for those schools and sections who have determined it feasible to host interscholastic athletics at that time. Regular-season games/contests can begin for low- and moderate-risk fall sports once student-athletes have participated in the required number of practices as per NYSPHSAA bylaws.

“NYSPHSAA’s leadership recognizes the numerous challenges interscholastic programs are experiencing and the obstacles associated with resuming high risk sports,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA president. “While it is certainly the goal of the association to provide all students with the ability to participate in interscholastic athletics we must remain steadfast in our decisions to ensure the safety of our athletes is our focus.”

At this time, all winter NYSPHSAA state xampionship events remain as scheduled.


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