While Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that state schools will be allowed to open for in-person instruction this year, interscholastic sports in New York remain on pause.
“I’m encouraged,” New York State Public High School Athletic Association Executive Director Robert Zayas said Friday during a phone interview. “Today’s decision to open schools is a positive announcement. Now, we can address other items of importance like athletics.”
The opening date for the fall sports season in New York was recently pushed back from Aug. 24 to Sept. 21 following a recommendation from the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force, and Zayas said the organization is awaiting guidance from state government and health officials before moving forward.
Social media buzzed with inquiries about the fall sports season following the governor’s announcement.
“We’ve got to be patient,” Zayas said. “Youth sports are taking place, and that’s another encouraging sign.”
Zayas wrote on his Twitter account Friday: “Governor Cuomo announced schools can reopen in the Fall. No final decision made on interscholastic athletics. @NYSPHSAA looks forward to continuing our discussions with State officials & advocating for the safe return of high school sports. Stay safe. Stay positive.”
Zayas said he wasn’t certain when the governor will make an announcement concerning school sports in New York.
“We are waiting for state officials to address the interscholastic issue,” Zayas said.
The 2019-20 school year saw the end of the winter sports season and the entire spring sports season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and interscholastic sports activities have been on hold since then.
The NYSPHSAA recently announced that there would be no regional or state competitions this fall, and released a tentative plan to conduct the winter, fall and spring sports seasons in consecutive 10-week blocks starting in January 2021 if high school sports remain prohibited throughout 2020 due to COVID-19.