The governing body for high school sports in New York announced Friday the cancellation of all winter state championships and the postponement of high-risk sports until authorization is granted by state officials.
Meanwhile, Suffolk County’s governing body for public school sports decided the county will not play the high-risk winter sports of wrestling, competitive cheerleading, and boys and girls basketball during this school year, according to a Newsday report.
The moves are due to the significant rise in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates across the state.
Below is the news release put out Friday by the New York State Public High School Association.
NYSPHSAA News Release
New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announces the cancellation of all 2021 Winter State Championships and the postponement of all high-risk sports until authorization is granted by state officials. The NYSPHSAA Officers rendered these decisions with input from the NYSPHSAA membership and the 11 Section Executive Directors.
“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,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “At this time, we must prioritize maximizing student participation without a focus on championship events.”
The Association’s decision to postpone all high-risk sports until authorization is granted was reinforced by the increase in infection and hospitalization rates across the State. The New York State Department of Health has determined the following NYSPHSAA-endorsed sports to be high risk: basketball, boys lacrosse, competitive cheerleading, football, ice hockey, volleyball, and wrestling.
The cancellation of the Winter State Championships (bowling, basketball, boys swimming & diving, competitive cheerleading, gymnastics, indoor track & field, ice hockey, skiing, and wrestling) addresses membership concerns associated with increased travel, hotel accommodations, transportation logistics and the planning for meals. Furthermore, venue capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions make it increasingly difficult to ensure the safety of student-athletes, coaches, and families.
“As an educator, I am witnessing first-hand the challenges our member schools are facing each day in addressing this pandemic,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “It is important we continue listening to the concerns being expressed by our membership when making decisions impacting interscholastic athletics.”
Low- and moderate-risk regular season sports continue to be permitted. The 2021 NYSPHSAA Spring State Championships remain scheduled at this time.