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Start of Fall Sports Delayed

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has postponed the start of the 2020 fall sports season for all schools in New York State and is considering implementing shortened seasons that could begin in January due to COVID-19.

The decision to delay the start of the fall season to Monday, Sept. 21 also included the cancelation of the fall regional and state championships.

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

The NYSPHSAA is considering condensing and starting all three sports seasons after January 1 due to the COVID-19 crisis. The following plan has not been finalized. All dates are tentative.

Season I (Winter Sports) Dates: Jan. 4-Mar. 13 

Sports: Basketball (girls & boys), bowling (girls & boys), gymnastics, ice hockey (girls & boys), indoor track & field (girls & boys), skiing (girls & boys), swimming (boys), *wrestling, *competitive cheer. 

*Wrestling and competitive cheer could be moved to Season II or III due to the high-risk nature of the sports.

Season II (Fall Sports) Dates: Mar. 1-May 8  

Sports: Football, cross country (girls & boys), field hockey, soccer (girls & boys), swimming (girls), volleyball (girls & boys), unified bowling. 

Note: Weather will have an impact on outdoor sports in some parts of the state in March and potentially early April. Girls Tennis moved to Season III. 

Season III (Spring Sports) Dates: Apr. 5-Jun. 12 

Sports: Baseball, softball, golf (girls & boys), lacrosse (girls & boys), tennis (girls & boys), outdoor track & field (girls & boys), unified basketball.

This decision comes at the recommendation of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force, which has been meeting to evaluate the feasibility of allowing schools to permit sports during the 2020-2021 school year. New York joins a growing a list of states delaying their fall seasons, according to the National Federation of High Schools.

"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. "At this time, Department of Health guidance presented on July 13th prohibits interscholastic athletics across the state. 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."

For more information from the NYSPHSAA, go to: http://www.nysphsaa.org.