In mid-July, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced that for the 2020-2021 season there would be no regional or state competition and that fall sports would start …
In mid-July, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced that for the 2020-2021 season there would be no regional or state competition and that fall sports would start about a month later than regularly scheduled on Sept. 21.
While Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to announce formal school openings for the fall, albeit scheduled to the first week of August, it is widely anticipated that fall sports will get a second pushback to start in Jan. 21, with additional COVID-19 outbreaks in the autumn/early winter months.
Fall sports include cross country, football, field hockey, volleyball, soccer, girls swimming and girls tennis.
Athletic departments are scrambling to accommodate the new rules and are preparing for condensed seasons to begin in January, in which fall sports would take place concurrent with winter and spring sports.
“We are closely monitoring the information we receive from NYSPHSAA and will make all necessary adjustments that will afford our student ath- letes the opportunity to participate,” said Timothy Mullins, athletic director for Bayport-Blue Point Schools.
Without further guidance from NYSPHSAA and the Governor’s Office, school athletic officials have been unable to comment on how to accommodate students and staff affected by this new schedule.
Parents have been active on social media and imagining worst-case scenarios, where students who are multiple-season athletes will be forced to make a choice come spring.
Karen Schneider Costa, who has a 10th grader who plays soccer, basketball, and baseball, will be one of those children affected by the possible condensed schedule. “When you have a small district like ours [BBP], you have a lot of overlap of athletes who play multiple sports,” said Costa. In addition, Costa said in the BBP School District, coaches also run multiple-season sports and could face a similar problem.
For now, Costa’s son’s soccer coach is not permitted to hold practices with them as the current season is not scheduled to begin until Sept. 21.
There has been talk of holding “captain’s practices” (captains of the team hold practices that are not official in capacity as the school coach is not on-site), but even that holds the issues of social distancing and team capacity.