The start date for Section II high school bowling matches has been pushed back, and once they get going, boys’ and girls’ teams will compete with a variety of safety measures including virtual matches.
The official start date for the winter season in Section II is Monday, but no Section II bowling matches are slated for that opening week, which is normally the case. Section II’s first matches are set to begin Dec. 21, while some schools won’t start playing until the first week of January.
Section II boys’ bowling coordinator Gary VanDerzee said concerns with the Thanksgiving break and the recent rise in overall COVID-19 numbers factored into the season’s delay.
“It’s because of all the COVID tests,” said VanDerzee, who coaches the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk teams. “We want to make sure everyone is OK.”
Everyone — players and coaches — will be wearing masks during matches and will be asked to follow social distance measures. While some matches will be held virtually, others will take place in-person, though some leagues are considering separate pairs for each team to roll on.
“There are a lot of protocols we can use,” VanDerzee said. “We want the kids to compete, and compete safely.”
VanDerzee also serves as the Colonial Council boys’ bowling coordinator, and said that league won’t allow spectators at matches and that other leagues may follow suit.
“Schools have their protocols, and there are bowling center protocols that we’ll have to follow, as well,” said Schalmont coach and Section II girls’ bowling co-coordinator Hugo McGroty.
McGroty said the Western Athletic Conference, Adirondack League and Foothills Council have committed to all-virtual seasons. Other leagues and/or individual schools, he said, may also opt for that format.