In an effort to avoid conflicts with end-of-school-year activities and testing, Section II has moved up the start date and the completion date for the 2021 spring sports season.
The new start date will be Sunday, April 25, and the new end date will be Wednesday, June 16. With the new start date, there will be an overlap with the “Fall II” season that is currently underway and runs through Saturday, May 1.
“There is going to be a bit of an impact with the overlap with athletes and field space,” Schenectady/Mohonasen boys’ lacrosse coach Matt Marotta said. “It will work out, but the first week is going to be . . . interesting.”
The Section II Executive Committee announced the spring sport date changes Wednesday. The previously scheduled dates were May 2 (baseball start April 28) through June 25.
According to the Section II Executive Committee, the new dates could possibly include Section II postseason competition in a season that was completely canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The spring athletes had so much taken away from them,” said Marotta, who had 16 seniors on his team denied an opportunity to compete last spring. “The season will be shorter, but to get a chance to experience sectionals would be a nice little treat for them.”
A statement from the Section II Executive Committee reads: “We received word about 10 days ago that the Federal Government denied the multiple state request to not have regents’ exams. Last week we also received the NYSED schedule for Regents and World Language Exams. NYSED has put in a request for a waiver for the 6 required exams. It is unknown if it will be granted and unlikely that we will know anytime soon.
“After weighing all the factors, we have decided that the impact of moving the dates will be much less negative than trying to run sectionals during the Exam/Holiday dates that fall between June 17th-June 25th. In addition to the conflicts with exams, our student-athletes will be facing other conflicts such as senior events, ring ceremonies, proms, etc., etc. It is also noted that when we first thought of the June 25thor even June 30th dates, we were believing that there would not be exams.
“President Joseph Sapienza has the Spring Sport Coordinators working on the available dates with our full intentions of providing our Spring Student-Athletes with a condensed regular season and a Spring Sectional experience. We believe this can be done prior to the start of the Regents Exams on June 17th.”
“This lets kids focus on academics at that period of time,” Marotta said.
For student-athletes who are currently competing in the Fall II season and plan to play a spring sport, the number of required preseason spring practices will be reduced. According to New York State Public High School Athletic Association rules: Sports with six practices for the individual before the first contest/scrimmage will be allowed to carry over three days. Sports with ten practices for the individual before the first contest/scrimmage will be allowed to carry over four days.