Section IX shifts sports schedule

By TED WADDELL
Posted 9/16/20

NEW YORK — In a scene right out of the cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the Section IX Athletic Council of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association …

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Section IX shifts sports schedule

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NEW YORK — In a scene right out of the cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the Section IX Athletic Council of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA) was doing the “Time Warp Again” on Thursday, September 3 as they passed a resolution to postpone all fall sports to early next year due to the risks associated with COVID-19.

This ruling covers all fall season sports, including soccer, cross country, field hockey, girls’ swimming and girls’ tennis.

The council set Friday, November 30 as the start date for winter sports practices, while all fall sports will be moved to a shortened “Fall II” season slated for March and April 2021.

In the meantime (as things stand now), offseason workouts may be conducted beginning Monday, September 21, subject to the approval of each school district in Section IX, and are mandated to follow NYSPHSAA and NYS Department of Health (DOH) guidelines.

The practice dates for the upcoming “Fall II” and spring sports in our area have yet to be established, while spring season battles will be held in May and June of 2021.

On Wednesday, September 9, the NYSPHSAA switched the practice dates of what they define as “high-risk” sports (football, girls’ volleyball and competitive cheer) to March 1, 2021.

Still to be determined is what’s going to happen to basketball and wrestling, as these sports are also deemed “high risk” by the state DOH.

Earlier, the NYS Council of School Superintendents posted a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo requesting him to reconsider his recommendation to allow school sports to start on January 21, with what they described as “three condensed seasons between January and June.”

Section IX executive director Gregory Ransom said in a recent statement to the press, “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Section IX in conjunction with our school districts will monitor developments and make changes when needed.”

Meanwhile, over in Pennsylvania at Honesdale High School, the sports program will be entering their third week of JV and varsity competition: golf, field hockey, tennis, soccer, cross country and football.

But as the pandemic evolves and school districts scramble to provide education and sports for the nation’s scholar-athletes, the word-of-the-day is “Subject to Change.”

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