NY announces high risk fall sports will begin play in March


PMHS football (File Photo)

On Sept. 9, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced that high risk sports including football, volleyball and competitive cheerleading will be moved to the spring season of 2021.  

The revised season for risk risk fall sports will be known as “Fall Sports Season II” and will begin on March 1, 2021. Low and moderate risk sports are still set to begin practices on Sept. 21 as previously announced. Due to this revised season for high risk sports, traditional spring sports will now officially begin on April 19, 2021 (The original start day was March 15, 2021.)

“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, Executive Director of NYSPHSAA.

“The challenge for the school district is to be able to provide sports and ensure that all participants are safe.” said Christian Hodge, athletic director at PMHS.  

“This is not the most ideal situation, but it does give districts and programs a chance to be able to play,” Hodge said. “I am glad that our students will have an opportunity to play those sports.  The state will also allow students to be able to play in four seasons.  This will allow our students to not have to make a choice.”

Evan Sefchick, a senior at PMHS and is a member of both the varsity football and lacrosse teams, said, “I am disappointed with the decision to move football and other high risk sports to the spring. Other fall athletes and myself have been working hard to prepare for the upcoming season, and it’s obviously upsetting to have to postpone our original plans. However, this decision was not unanticipated as the NYSPHSAA has previously made it clear that these sports can interfere with the reopening of schools.” 

Though the delay of football was certainly a setback, Sefchick is looking forward to the spring.

“I am very excited to return to athletics come the spring, especially with the unexpected end to the lacrosse season in the spring 2020 season,” said Sefchick. “I can’t wait for the resumption of both sports so we can get back on the field.”

For up-to-date information on openings for New York high school sports amid the Covid-19 pandemic, click here.