Section II pushes winter sports start date to Dec. 14

Amsterdam's Yandeel Vazquez makes a shot against Johnstown's Zachary Serpa during their high school basketball game in Amsterdam on Jan. 17. (Erica Miller)
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Amsterdam's Yandeel Vazquez makes a shot against Johnstown's Zachary Serpa during their high school basketball game in Amsterdam on Jan. 17. (Erica Miller)

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

The start of winter high school sports in the Capital Region has been delayed until mid-December, Section II announced Friday.

In a press release, Section II announced that it was pushing the start date for “low” and “moderate” risk sports from Nov. 30 to Dec. 14. The start date for “high” risk sports has also been pushed back to Dec. 14, pending approval to compete from the state Department of Health. If “high” risk sports do not have approval to compete by Dec. 14, that official start date will be pushed back to Jan. 4, still pending approval to compete.

The “low” and “moderate” risk sports offered during the winter in Section II are bowling, gymnastics, indoor track and field, Nordic and Alpine skiing and boys’ swimming and diving. The “high” risk sports are basketball, competitive cheerleading, ice hockey, wrestling and boys’ volleyball.

“The Section’s goal through all of this is to be able  to provide a safe opportunity to participate for all of our sport offerings,” Section II President Joseph Sapienza said in the release.

Under the plan announced Friday, Section II’s winter sports season will run from Dec. 14 through Feb. 28, and will focus on regular-season play — primarily with league competition. Section II postseason events — with reduced participation and under a condensed timeframe — will only take place if the New York State Public High School Athletic Association is offering state championships for winter sports. Without state champions, the section is supporting its leagues and schools to engage in league championship events that will conclude by Feb. 28.

“We understand that for a variety of reasons some school districts may opt out of our Winter Sport offerings,” Section II Executive Director Ed Dopp said in the release. “In those cases, we respect and support the individual district decision.”

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