NYSPHSAA cancels 2021 Winter State Championships; postpones all high-risk sports until authorization is granted

NYSPHSA logoToday, Dec. 11, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) cancelled the 2021 Winter State Championships.

In addition, NYSPHSAA also postponed all high-risk sports until authorization is granted by state officials.

The decision was made with input from the NYSPHSAA membership and the 11 section executive directors.

“We continue to be respectful of the NYSPHSAA’s concern over the infection rate increases we’ve been seeing,” said Athletic Director Tim Bult. “We know cancelling the 2021 Winter State Championships and postponing all high-risk sports, until authorized, disappoints our student athletes and coaches. But health and safety issues are always our first priority. COVID-19 compliant off-season team workouts are scheduled to begin Monday, Dec. 14.”

NYSPHSAA’s decision to postpone all high-risk sports, until authorization is granted, was reinforced by the increase in statewide infection and hospitalization rates.

The New York State Department of Health has deemed these sports to be high risk: basketball, boys lacrosse, competitive cheerleading, football, ice hockey, volleyball, and wrestling.

According to the NYSPHSAA, 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.

Additionally, venue capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions made it increasingly difficult to ensure the safety of student-athletes, coaches, and families, according to a NYSPHAA statement.

Low- and moderate-risk winter season sports continue to be permitted. At Minisink, those sports are boys and girls indoor track and boys swimming and diving. Those teams are scheduled to begin practice Jan. 19, 2021.

The 2021 NYSPHSAA Spring State Championships currently remain scheduled.