Section VI chooses to pause winter sports
WEST SENECA — The Section VI Athletic Council announced Wednesday that it has voted to pause the start date of winter low- and moderate-risk sports until Dec. 14.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association had approved Nov. 30 for the start of bowling, boys swimming, indoor track, rifle and alpine skiing.
“The Section remains committed to providing opportunities for our winter athletes,” said Brett Banker, President of Section VI. “Much like the recently completed fall season when we did all we could, our leadership groups across the section are working tirelessly for our athletes, families and coaches. With the reality of where we are statistically we need to assist our superintendents and other leaders and pause for a moment. There are great people in the section’s athletic world working on the issues and who are fully cognizant of what these programs mean to kids.”
The NYSPHSAA announced Tuesday that the start date for high-risk winter sports — basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling — will be moved to Jan. 4.
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.
“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director. “Minimizing risk and exposure to COVID-19 is a top priority of the association. We continue to make these types of decisions based upon readily available information and communication with state officials.”
“NYSPHSAA’s leadership recognizes the numerous challenges interscholastic programs are experiencing and the obstacles associated with resuming high risk sports,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA president. “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.”
At this time, all winter NYSPHSAA state championship events remain as scheduled.