LATHAM — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has announced the cancellation of all 2021 winter state championship events and the postponement of all “high” risk sports until authorization is granted by state officials due to concerns over COVID-19 infection rates.
In a press release, the NYSPHSAA said the decision was made with input from the association’s membership and the executive directors of the 11 sections. The cancellation of the championships affects bowling, basketball, boys’ swimming and diving, competitive cheerleading, indoor track and field, ice hockey, skiing and wrestling.
“When examining the feasibility of Winter State Championships, it became apparent that travel and overnight accommodations would create a unique challenge for our member schools,” NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said in the release. “At this time, we must prioritize maximizing student participation without a focus on championship events.”
According to the release, the decision to postpone all “high” risk sports until authorization is granted by the state was “reinforced by the increase in infection and hospitalization rates across the State.”
The NYSPHSAA-sponsored sports classified as “high” risk by the state Department of Health are basketball, boys’ lacrosse, competitive cheerleading, football, ice hockey, volleyball and wrestling.
According to the release, “low” and “moderate” risk sports are still permitted. In Section II, practices for bowling, boys’ swimming and diving and both Nordic and Alpine skiing are set to begin Monday.