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NYSPHSAA delays fall sports start date to Sept. 21

The officers of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) voted this week to delay the official start date of the fall 2020 sports season. They also canceled the fall 2020 regional and state championships.

NYSPHSAA also announced it is prepared to implement a condensed season schedule in January 2021 if high school sports remain prohibited throughout 2020 due to COVID-19. This decision comes at the recommendation of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force.

“As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start on August 24 as originally scheduled,” NYSPHSAA President Paul Harrica said. “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:

  • Delaying fall sports start date until Monday, Sept. 21.
  • Canceling fall regional and state championship events.
  • Waiving the seven-day practice rule.
  • Maintaining current practice requirements.
  • Encouraging geographic scheduling for games and contests.
  • The option for schools, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season conditioning workouts.

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 (i.e., state official guidance, school closings, cancelation of high-risk sports, etc.) then a condensed seasons plan will be implemented.

The Condensed Season plan would entail the following, with the stipulated dates being tentative.

Season 1, Winter Sports

Dates: Jan 4 – March 13

Season 2, Fall Sports

Dates: March 1 – May 8

Season 3, Spring Sports

Dates: April 5 – June 12