The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has moved the start date for high risk winter sports (basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling) to Jan. 4, 2021.
Until authorization is granted by state officials, NYSPHSAA member schools are not permitted to participate in sports determined to be high risk by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
“We are respectful of the NYSPHSAA’s concern over the infection rate increase we’ve been seeing,” said Athletic Director Tim Bult. “We know its decision to postpone is based upon readily available information and communication with state officials. Yes, this delay is disappointing for our student athletes and coaches, but Minisink Valley equally puts the health and safety of its students always as the first priority.”
However, low and moderate risk winter sport practices are still on schedule to begin on Nov. 30, as determined by the NYSPHSAA, for those schools and sections who determined it’s feasible to host interscholastic athletics at that time. At Minisink Valley, those sports are indoor track & field and swimming & diving.
Regular season games/contests can begin for low and moderate risk winter sports once student-athletes have participated in the required number of practices as per NYSPHSAA bylaws.
At this time, all winter NYSPHSAA State Championship events remain as scheduled.
“NYSPHSAA’s leadership recognizes the numerous challenges interscholastic programs are experiencing and the obstacles associated with resuming high risk sports,” Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA president, said in a statement. “While it is certainly the goal of the Association to provide all students with the ability to participate in interscholastic athletics we must remain steadfast in our decisions to ensure the safety of our athletes is our focus.”