State high school athletics group delays fall season, cancels championships for school sports

Officers of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA)  voted on many changes to the upcoming sports seasons to combat the spread of COVID – 19 on Thursday.

In their report, NYSPHSAA stated their priority is the education of New York students and maintaining the health and safety of students throughout the academic year. In order to do so, NYSPHSAA has cancelled the 2020 Fall Regional and State Championships for all sports, as well as delayed the start of the Fall Season to late September. In addition to changes to the structure of the season, the NYSPHSAA has also waived the 7 day practice rule for athletes, and encouraged that games are scheduled geographically. 

Dr. Robert Zayas, Executive Director of the NYSPHSAA, commented about the changes made to the season.

“We recognize this is challenging for everyone, but the decisions made at the State level are based on data and statewide infection rates all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID and reopen responsibly. At this time, The Department of Health Guidance presented on July 13th prohibits interscholastic athletics across the state.” said Dr. Zayas.

“The Association will continue to follow state guidance and will work collectively with State officials to ensure high school athletics will start up responsibly in the future. AS an association, we must be willing to be flexible and continue to explore all options with students’ safety as our main focus.”

If the Virus continues to spread, and the fall season is unplayable, a proposition for three condensed seasons from January through June has been made that could be implemented to ensure that athletes are able to play in a season at any time. This three sport season would feature Winter Sports first, then Fall, and Spring Sports at the end.