Reopen NY: High school sports delayed in state due to coronavirus concerns

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York is delaying the start of the high school sports season this fall due to concerns about COVID-19.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) voted to delay the season until September 21. It has been scheduled to begin in late August.

The NYSPHSAA also voted to cancel the Fall 2020 Regional and State Championships and prepare to implement a condensed season schedule in January 2021 if high school sports remain prohibited throughout 2020 due to COVID-19.

The decision came at the recommendation of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force when they convened as a working group for the third time on Thursday.

"As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start on August 24th as originally scheduled," said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA President. "The priority will continue to be on the educational process and a return to learning in the safest way possible."

The NYSPHSAA Officers' decision includes:
Delay Fall sports start date until Monday, September 21st (NYSPHSAA PAUSE)
Cancel Fall Regional and State Championship events
Waive seven-day practice rule
Maintain current practice requirements
Encourage geographic scheduling for games & contests
Schools would have the option, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season conditioning
workouts.

"We recognize this is challenging for everyone, but the decisions made at the State level are based upon data and statewide infection rates all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID and reopen responsibly," said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director.

With regional differences, schools and areas will be impacted differently by the COVID-19 crisis. At the discretion of the NYSPHSAA Officers and authorization from state officials, if the Fall sports seasons are interrupted or impacted by COVID-19 crisis then a condensed seasons plan will be implemented.

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