NYSPHSAA Delays Start of Season

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Thursday it is delaying the start of the fall 2020 season till Sept. 21 and is cancelling the fall 2020 state regional and state championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ursuline School, Our Lady of Lourdes, Albertus Magnus and John S. Burke are Catholic high schools in the Hudson Valley competing in the NYSPHSAA.

“As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start on August 24th as originally scheduled,” said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA president in a press release. “The priority will continue to be on the educational process and a return to learning in the safest way possible.”

The vote by NYSPHSAA officers for the delayed start came at the recommendation of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force, which met via Zoom on Thursday.

“We recognize this is challenging for everyone, but the decisions made at the state level are based upon data and statewide infection rates all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID and reopen responsibly,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director, in the press release.

“At this time, Department of Health guidance presented on July 13th prohibits interscholastic athletics across the state. The (NYSPHSAA) will continue to follow state guidance and will work collectively with state officials to ensure high school athletics will start up responsibly in the future. As an association, we must be willing to be flexible and continue to explore all options with students’ safety as our main focus.”

The NYSPHSAA also announced a three-season condensed schedule starting in Jan. 2021 if the fall 2020 is postponed due to the pandemic.

Season I is the winter 2020-2021 season and will run tentatively from Jan. 4 to March 13. Sports are boys and girls basketball, boys and girls skiing, boys swimming, boys and girls swimming, boys and girls indoor track, wrestling and competitive cheer.

Season II is the fall 2020 season, which will run tentatively from March 1 to May 8 with boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country, field hockey, boys and girls volleyball, girls swimming and football. 

Season III is spring sports and will operate from April 5 to June 12 with baseball, softball, boys and girls golf, boys and girls outdoor track and field, boys and girls lacrosse and boys and girls tennis.

Please note girls tennis is being moved from the fall to spring season in the condensed schedule, and wrestling and competitive cheer may be moved to the second or third season depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHOTO COURTESY OF USA BASKETBALL — The Ursuline School’s Sonia Citron, shown competing for Team USA, is one of the top returning basketball players in the state for the 2020-2021 school year. She has committed to play at the University Notre Dame in 2021-2022.

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