There is a very important question circulating wondering if sports will run this year. The answer is as challenging as the health crisis. We see daily increases in the infection rate and must maintain our position of health and safety conscious decisions.
In the fall, the cancelled sport seasons were consolidated into three short seasons, due to start in January 2021. At the current time, NYS has not provided guidance on running moderate or high risk sports, these include basketball and wrestling. The guidance, which was due in early November, is still delayed. All indications are that this will not allow schools to run these teams. The only "low risk" winter sport that Lawrence runs is indoor track. Due to the rise in infection rate, the need to limit density, maintain social distance, and close the campuses to outside visitors, indoor track will not be run in January.
The remaining two seasons are to be determined as we move through this fluid situation. This is a disappointing and frustrating time for our scholar athletes. It is not a decision made lightly, but is one made with the pandemic objective of health guiding the way.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has announced the start date for high risk winter sports (basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling) will be moved to January 4, 2021. Until authorization is granted by state officials, NYSPHSAA member schools are not permitted to participate in sports determined to be high risk by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “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.”
Low and moderate risk winter sport practices (bowling, gymnastics, indoor track & field, skiing, and swimming & diving) are still on schedule to begin on November 30th for those schools and sections who have determined it feasible to host interscholastic athletics at that time. R
“NYSPHSAA’s leadership recognizes the numerous challenges interscholastic programs are experiencing and the obstacles associated with resuming high risk sports,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “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.”