The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that high-risk winter sports — basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling — will not start until at least Jan. 4, 2021.
Those sports, deemed of higher risk to spread COVID-19, will still require authorization from state officials before NYSPHSAA member schools are allowed to begin participating in them.
Low- and moderate-risk sports — bowling, gymnastics, indoor track and field, and swimming and diving — are permitted to begin practicing Nov. 30, should individual sections and schools choose to move forward with the winter season. Competition can begin once individual student-athletes in those sports have participated in the requisite number of practices.
“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director, said in a statement. “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.”
“NYSPHSAA’s leadership recognizes the numerous challenges interscholastic programs are experiencing and the obstacles associated with resuming high risk sports,” Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA president, added. “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 championship events remain as scheduled.