WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The fall sports season for high schools is delayed - and could see even bigger changes.
“We’rte gonna pause until September 21st,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, Executive Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
The state’s COVID-19 task force for high school athletes met earlier in the day, and pushed back the start of the fall season.
In doing so, fall regional and state championship events are canceled, and schools will be encouraged to schedule games close to home.
Importantly, the September 21 date is not an absolute.
“If state officials tell us in a few weeks that it’s going to be beyond that, does it really make sense to try to attempt to start a season?” Zayas said.
If the fall season can’t start by September 21, there is a Plan B, a condensed sports season which would begin in 2021.
“We would move to start all sports on January 4, in three 10 week seasons starting in January 2021,” Zayas said.
‘This would give every student athlete the opportunity to play their sport of choice.”
The winter sports season would be played first, followed by the fall season starting March 1 and ther spring season, starting April 5.
While some of the sports seasons would overlap, Zayas said athletes would be able to play two sports at once. Individual schools and sections will decide on whether to offer modified and junior varsity sports.
“It’s my goal right now that we’re not gonna have to cancel,” Zayas said, “That’s a major rationale for the condensed season model.”