The New York Public High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that it is pushing back the start date for ‘high’ risk winter sports — basketball, wrestling, ice hockey and competitive cheerleading — to Jan. 4, citing concerns over rising COVID-19 infection rates across the state.
Competition in ‘high’ risk sports is currently not permitted by the New York State Department of Health and will not be able to go forward without state approval.
In a press release announcing the move, the NYSPHSAA also announced that it is keeping its start date for ‘low’ and ‘moderate’ risk winter sports — boys’ swimming and diving, Nordic and Alpine skiing, bowling, gymnastics and indoor track and field — as Nov. 30. However, Section II announced last week that it was pushing back its winter sports start date to Dec. 14.
Games and contests for ‘low’ and ‘moderate’ risk sports can begin once athletes have participated in the required number of practices, per NYSPHSAA guidelines.
“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said in the release. “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.”
According to the release, all winter NYSPHSAA state championship events remain as scheduled. Section II announced last week that it would only hold sectional postseason competition this winter if state championships were still being held.
This report will be updated.