By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer
Jul. 22, 2020: Athletics is an important part of every high school's co-curricular offerings, and the officers of the New York Public High School Athletic Association (NYPHSSAA) have been working hard on a schedule for the fall. Last Thursday, they voted to delay the start of the fall high school sports season until September 21st.
"As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start as originally scheduled," said NYSPHSAA president Paul Harrica in a press release. "The priority will continue to be on the educational process and a return to learning in the safest way possible."
In addition to the delayed start date, the NYSPHSAA task force also canceled the Fall 2020 Regional and State Championships, waived the seven-day practice rule, and will allow off-season conditioning workouts. The task force has also encouraged schools to compete against teams in their geographic area to reduce the amount of travel.
High school athletes are undoubtedly anxious to compete this fall, but there is still uncertainty about how schools will reopen. Last week, the New York State Education Department issued guidance for reopening schools and has asked for districts to submit and post their reopening plans by July 31st.
Joe Haven, who took over as Bronxville's Athletic Director on July 1st, recognizes the challenges of getting students back out on the playing field.
"We would love to start our student athletics in August, but we have the responsibility to ensure the health and safety of all people involved in the educational process."
Haven comes to Bronxville after having been an Athletic Director in Section 3 for 15 years. He is excited to start working with the student-athletes and coaches in Bronxville but knows student safety is paramount.
"I am disappointed by the delay for our fall athletes and hope they have the opportunity to represent Bronxville this fall."
Because the COVID-19 crisis represents an ever-changing situation, the NYSPHSAA task force presented a second option if fall sports seasons are interrupted or prohibited.
Starting in January 2021, all three seasons would be condensed into ten-week sessions. Winter sports (Season I) would start on January 4th and end on March 13th. Winter sports would include basketball, ice hockey, indoor track and field, skiing, and boys' swimming.
Season II or fall sports would run March 1st-May 8th and include football, cross country, field hockey, soccer, and girls' swimming. The final ten-week season (Season III) would take place from April 5th to June 12th and include baseball, golf, lacrosse, outdoor track and field, and tennis.
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Pictured: Chambers Field during Homecoming last fall.
Photo by J. Murrer.