NYSPHSAA provides clarification for winter and spring sports

High School Sport

Latham, NY — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) will continue to rely upon information from the New York State Department of Health, local health departments as well as the Governor’s office for information and guidance on COVID-19 and its impact upon interscholastic athletics.

At this time, NYSPHSAA would like to provide clarification and interpretation on its position pertaining to indefinitely postponing its remaining Winter Championships (Ice Hockey, Bowling, Boys and Girls Basketball).  The following information is being provided to answer the many questions and address concerns related to interscholastic athletics in New York State at this time.

How does NYSPHSAA define “Indefinitely Postponed”?

Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director, will continue to evaluate the situation and do his best to determine the future of winter championships as soon as possible with input from the membership and Executive Committee.  Dr. Zayas is cautiously optimistic the winter state championships will be conducted for our student-athletes.  Winter sport teams may continue to practice at the approval of their school district.  If and when winter state championships are able to resume, teams will be provided ample time to practice and prepare.

Can winter sport athletes start spring sport practices?

If winter sport athletes want to start spring sport practices this is a local school district and/or Section decision.  Keep in mind there are no NYSPHSAA rules preventing a student from participating in two seasons at the same time; some Sections and leagues do have rules addressing this.

Can spring sport teams conduct practice?

School districts have full discretion to determine how their spring sports teams will conduct practices.  NYSPHSAA strongly encourages school administrators to work closely with their local department of health when making decisions pertaining to sports teams practicing. 

Can spring sport teams have scrimmages and games?

There are no statewide limitations or restrictions on spring sport scrimmages and games at this time; individual Sections and/or school districts may impose restrictions on scrimmages and games as they see fit.

Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director, said “One thing that I have learned in the past 72 hours, is not to attempt to predict what will occur with this rapidly developing situation.  As information becomes available, decisions will be made in the best interests of the student-athletes we serve.”

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