Section IX Athletic Council postpones fall sports until next year; Nov. 30 is start date for winter sport practices

Today, Sept. 10, the Section IX Athletic Council passed a resolution which postpones all fall scholastic sports to early next year due to COVID-19 concerns, and established Nov. 30 as the start for winter sport practices.

This resolution was presented to the Athletic Council by its COVID-19 Task Force, which had been looking at all aspects of fall play.

Now, all Section IX fall sports will be pushed to an abbreviated “Fall II” season in March and April of 2021.

However, offseason workouts are permitted starting Sept. 21, and Minisink Valley’s start date will be finalized shortly. Off-season workouts must follow rules established by NYSPHSAA and the state Department of Health guidelines.

The exact practice start dates for the “Fall II” and spring seasons will be determined. The 2021 spring season will take place next May and June.

This decision covers all Section IX fall sports, including football, field hockey, soccer, cross country,  girls swimming, volleyball, game day cheer and girls tennis.

Section IX Executive Director Gregory Ransom said in a statement that the council’s decision was based on student safety and because many Section IX school districts are conducting all classes remotely.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Section IX, in conjunction with our school districts, will monitor developments and make changes when needed,” he added.

Athletic Director Tim Bult said he understands the level of frustration the district’s athletes are feeling.

“We know our athletes wanted to practice and play,” Mr. Bult said. “But, we also know all our Warrior athletic families understand we are still living under pandemic conditions. Section IX has an obligation and responsibility to put the health and safety of our athletes and coaches first.  We understand there is profound disappointment, but we respect this decision. As Warriors, we are strong and we will show how strong we are through our resiliency.”