Football, Vball, Competitive Cheer To Begin March 1
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
After completely voiding the 2020 spring season, the COVID-19 pandemic has now completely reshaped the landscape of the already delayed fall season as the New York State Public High School Association moves toward a return of scholastic athletics.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced today (Monday) that football, volleyball and competitive cheer fall seasons will be postponed until March 1, 2021 to address membership concerns associated with high-risk fall sports. The decision was rendered by the elected NYSPHSAA officers late this afternoon. Low and moderate risk fall sports, meanwhile, are still authorized to begin practices on September 21, 2020 as previously announced.
Football has been staple on the Northern New York high school sports fall menu since the 1890s while girls volleyball moved from a spring to a popular fall sport in Section 10 in the early 2000s. Competitive Cheerleading in Section 10 became an official sport four years ago and is staged in the winter season.
“We’ve spent two days speaking with nearly 500 athletic directors across the state and it’s clear that administering high-risk fall sports during the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge for our member schools,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “These are unprecedented times and unfortunately, difficult decisions will have to be made to address this ongoing crisis. 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 football, volleyball and fall competitive cheer will be known as “Fall Sports Season II” and may officially begin practices on March 1, 2021.
As a result of fall high-risk sports being moved, the start date for the spring sports season has been adjusted to April 19, 2021. The first official practice for spring sports will now be April 19, 2021 (the original start date was March 15). The winter sports season will begin on Nov. 30th.
“The NYSPHSAA officers have determined it would be unrealistic to host football, volleyball and competitive cheer seasons this fall,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “This continues to be the most challenging situation educators have ever addressed. I, along with my fellow officers, believe the participation experiences for football, volleyball and competitive cheer athletes will be more beneficial in the spring than in the fall.”
Low and moderate risk fall sports practices are still scheduled to begin on September 21st for those schools and sections who have determined it feasible to host interscholastic athletics at this time. Regular season games can begin for low and moderate risk fall sports (girls tennis, cross country, girls swimming/diving, boys soccer, girls soccer, field hockey) once student-athletes have participated in the required number of practices as per NYSPHSAA bylaws.