The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has announced that football, volleyball, and competitive cheer fall seasons will be postponed until March 1, 2021, to address membership concerns associated with high-risk fall sports. The decision was rendered by the elected NYSPHSAA officers late Wednesday afternoon. Low and moderate risk fall sports, meanwhile, are still authorized to begin practices on September 21, 2020, as previously announced.
“We’ve spent two days speaking with nearly 500 athletic directors across the state and 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, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “These are unprecedented times and unfortunately, difficult decisions will have to be made to address this ongoing crisis. We continue to stay committed to providing support to our member schools and quality participation experiences for the students we serve.”
The revised season for football, volleyball, and fall competitive cheer will be known as “Fall Sports Season II” and may officially begin practices on March 1, 2021.
As a result of fall high-risk sports being moved, the start date for the spring sports season has been adjusted to April 19, 2021. The first official practice for spring sports will now be April 19, 2021 (the original start date was March 15).
“The NYSPHSAA officers have determined it would be unrealistic to host football, volleyball, and competitive cheer seasons this fall,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “This continues to be the most challenging situation educators have ever addressed. I, along with my fellow officers, believe the participation experiences for football, volleyball, and competitive cheer athletes will be more beneficial in the spring than in the fall.”
Low and moderate risk fall sports practices are still scheduled to begin on September 21st for those schools and sections who have determined it feasible to host interscholastic athletics at this time. Regular season games can begin for low and moderate risk fall sports (girls tennis, cross country, girls swimming/diving, boys soccer, girls soccer, field hockey) once student-athletes have participated in the required number of practices as per NYSPHSAA bylaws.