The wait is almost over for Fulton County high school basketball squads, as Broadalbin-Perth and Gloversville will tip off Tuesday night for the first time this season after Fulton County approved guidelines for teams to compete within the county on Friday.
“It was looking kind of bleak there for a while,” Broadalbin-Perth boys’ and girls’ basketball coach Tucker Gifford said. “So [Friday’s] announcement was excellent. That was uplifting for our kids, for everybody.”
The winter’s “high” risk sports – basketball, wrestling, and ice hockey – didn’t start in November, as they normally do, because of state restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In January, such sports were approved to start play at the state level, but also required county-level approval. Individual school districts also need to approve
A majority of counties within the greater Capital Region set a benchmark that their respective seven-day coronavirus positivity rate average needed to reach 4% or lower to allow for “high” risk high school winter sports to start full-contact practices and competition. While Fulton County has not had its average drop yet to the 4% benchmark, the county announced Friday that its teams could start playing within the county, which is the same decision that Montgomery County previously reached.
Fulton County’s revised guidance goes into effect on Monday.
Out-of-county play for teams in both Fulton and Montgomery counties may start when their seven-day coronavirus positivity rate average reaches 4% or lower. Fulton County’s seven-day coronavirus positivity rate average was at 7.3% on Saturday, while Montgomery County was at 6.1%.
Broadalbin-Perth will tip off at Gloversville Tuesday night in the opening night of what Gifford called the ‘Fulton County 5’ schedule.
“If we never play out of county, that’s fine,” Gifford said. “These kids, especially the seniors, they’re going to get a chance to play. That’s what they’ve been craving. They don’t care who they play right now.”