The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) have recently announced decisions regarding fall athletics competition:
- NYSPHSAA has postponed football, volleyball and fall cheerleading until March 1, 2021.
- The Western Athletic Conference has agreed that only “low-risk” sports will be played starting Sept. 21. Those sports are golf and cross country. “Moderate-risk” sports including girls and boys soccer will also be postponed until March 1.
- The Western Athletic Conference has voted to only allow varsity-level competition for this fall sports season. Junior varsity and modified teams will not play this fall.
- The fall season for FOJO girls swimming has been postponed and will be reevaluated this winter.
- Health and safety guidelines will be shared with coaches, who will communicate with student athletes and their families.
“The decision to focus on low-risk play was made with the health and safety of students, staff and our school communities as our primary concern,” according to a statement issued by the WAC. “In addition, logistical issues dealing with transportation, field maintenance, supervision and cleaning and disinfecting were taken into consideration. After reviewing various sets of guidance and weighing the risks and benefits each sport presents, it was determined this decision was the most reasonable way for our schools to provide athletic opportunities to our students without jeopardizing the safe return of students to their respective schools. This decision still allows all students a possible opportunity to participate in athletics during the school year. Finally, it allows each district to allocate as many resources as possible to ensure the reopening plans are being implemented with regard to the academic needs of our students. In closing, we hope that all of the sports teams are able to play this school year, but it is a very fluid and ever changing situation.”
“These are unprecedented times and unfortunately, difficult decisions will have to be made to address this ongoing crisis,” NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said in a news release. “We continue to stay committed to providing support to our member schools and quality participation experiences for the students we serve.”
The revised season for FFCS will include boys and girls soccer, football, volleyball and fall cheerleading will be known as “Fall Sports Season II” and may officially begin practices on March 1, 2021.
As a result of specific fall sports being moved, the start date for the spring sports season has been adjusted to April 19, 2021, NYSPHSAA announced. The first official practice for spring sports will now be April 19, 2021 (the original start date was March 15).