The seasons

Fall sports (Sept. 21 – TBD)

  • Sections determine fall sports end date; it cannot exceed 15 weeks
  • No regional/state championships
  • Practice requirements: 10 practices for all fall sports except gymnastics (12); training for golf
  • Teams must play games within their section or league until Oct. 19; games may be played beyond a school’s section or league after Oct. 19
  • Seven consecutive day practice/play rule waived starting on Oct. 12
  • No sectional tournament in Section III

Winter sports (Nov. 30th – TBD)

  • Sections determine winter sports end date; it cannot exceed 22 weeks
  • State championships are still scheduled (subject to change)

Fall Sports Season II (March 1st – TBD)

  • Sections determine end date; recommended end date is May 1.
  • Sections have the ability to move other sports to fall sports season II in addition to fall competitive cheer, football, and volleyball
  • Practice requirements for fall sports season II are six for all sports, except for football which will require 10.
  • The seven consecutive day rule has also been waived for the entire fall sports season II
  • No regional/state championships

Spring sports (April 19-TBD)

  • Sections determine spring sports end date
  • State championships schedule to be determined

Definitions

Here’s the state department of health’s definitions of sport risk categories, based upon the likelihood of coronavirus transmission:

Low risk

  • Sports with the greatest ability to maintain physical distance and/or be performed individually
  • The greatest ability to (1) avoid touching of shared equipment, (2) clean and disinfect any equipment between uses by different individuals, or (3 ) not use shared equipment at all

Medium risk

  • Sports with limited ability to maintain physical distance and/or be done individually

Limited ability to: (1) avoid touching of shared equipment,(2) clean and disinfect equipment between uses by different individuals, or (3) not use shared equipment at all

High risk

  • Sports with the least ability to maintain physical distance and/or be done individually
  • Least ability to: (1) avoid touching of shared equipment,(2) clean and disinfect equipment between uses by different individuals, or (3) not use shared equipment at all

What winter sports are high risk?

Currently, wrestling, hockey and basketball are in this category. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll decide no later than Dec. 31 whether these sports will be allowed to play, although the NYSPHSAA may weigh in far earlier than that with a decision about moving these sports to the spring.

Off-season training

School-sponsored activities conducted out of the sport season such as general conditioning, weight training, weight lifting, intramurals, recreation, open gyms, club activities and camps are permitted if they are not mandated by coaches or school personnel and are available to all students.

Use of school facilities

There is nothing in the NYSDOH guidance prohibiting use of weight rooms, so long as the school can appropriately clean and disinfect the area.

Schools are permitted to utilize locker room facilities. Responsible parties must put in place practices for adequate social distancing in small areas, such as locker rooms, restrooms, and breakrooms, and should develop signage and systems (e.g., flagging when occupied) to restrict occupancy when social distancing cannot be maintained in such areas.

Can athletes compete in two sports at the same time?

There is a two-week overlap between the end of the fall sports season II and the beginning of the spring season. Sections may allow students to participate in both seasons and NYSPHSAA officers approved allowing three practices for all sports (four for baseball) to carry over to the spring sports season.

Can an athlete compete in all four seasons?

Yes, assuming they meet all NYSPHSAA and NYSED eligibility requirements.

What happens if the fall sports season is interrupted?

Condensed seasons plan could still be implemented. That decision will be made by the NYSPHSAA officers with the information available at that time.