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NYSPHSAA task force meets Thursday

NYSPHSAA task force meets Thursday

Contingency plans being considered include moving some fall sports to the spring season
NYSPHSAA task force meets Thursday
Photographer: Gazette file photo

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association's COVID-19 Task Force will continue to develop recommendations and formulate potential contingency plans for the fall sports season as it waits for further direction from the New York State Education Department and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

Those contingency plans being considered include moving some fall sports to the spring season.

"We have to consider that along with other things," NYSPHSAA executive director and Task Force member Robert Zayas said Wednesday in a phone interview.

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Last week, New Mexico officials announced that their scholastic football and soccer seasons would be moved from the fall to the spring. On Monday, the National Junior College Athletic Association announced that all close-contact fall sports would be moved to the spring semester, including football, volleyball and men's and women's soccer.

The COVID-19 Task Force will conduct its third virtual meeting Thursday, and Zayas said many issues will be addressed.

"We will explore a couple of proposals that have been submitted by the committee," Zayas said. "We will review the [student coronavirus] screening application again. We will look at the guidelines released by the state education department and the governor."

That release, which came out Monday, focused on the opening of schools and in a section on extracurriculars read in part that "interscholastic sports are not permitted at the time of publication of this guidance, and additional information on athletic activities is forthcoming."

"From what it says, we cannot start interscholastic sports until we receive authorization," Zayas said. "We've got to be patient."

The fall sports season in New York is scheduled to begin August 24.

 At its last meeting on June 30, the COVID-19 Task Force addressed several potential sports-playing scenarios dependent on what method(s) schools are using to instruct their students in the fall. Among the scenarios are a full return to athletic competition, potential adjustments to the season, and/or condensing the season.

Reach Jim Schiltz at [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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