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Valley Sports Report
SYRACUSE — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has officially canceled all winter sports state tournaments.

The decision impacts basketball, wrestling, boys swimming & diving, bowling, indoor track & field, as well as competitive cheer, hockey, gymnastics, and skiing.

“When examining the feasibility of Winter State Championships, it became apparent that travel and overnight accommodations would create a unique challenge for our member schools,” said Rd. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “At this time, we must prioritize maximizing student participation without a focus on championship events.”

Low- and moderate-risk sports are still authorized to begin on Jan.4, while everyone awaits word on Governor Cuomo’s ruling on the start date for high-risk sports, which includes basketball and wrestling.

Cuomo has said he will make an announcement on high-risk sports by Dec. 31.

NYSPHSAA recently announced Jan. 4 as a potential start date for high-risk sports, but has now said the start date is delayed indefnitely, while it awaits further guidance from state officials about dealing with the coronavirus crises.

According to a NYSPHSAA press release:

“The Association’s decision to postpone all high-risk sports until authorization is granted was reinforced by the increase in infection and hospitalization rates across the State. The New York State Department of Health has determined the following NYSPHSAA-endorsed sports to be high risk: basketball, boys lacrosse, competitive cheer, football, ice hockey, volleyball, and wrestling.

“The cancellation of the Winter State Championships addresses membership concerns associated with increased travel, hotel accommodations, transportation logistics, and the planning for meals. Furthermore, venue capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions made it increasingly difficult to ensure the safety of student-athletes, coaches, and families.”

“As an educator, I am witnessing first-hand the challenges our member schools are facing each day in addressing this pandemic,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA president. “It is important we continue listening to the concerns being expressed by our membership when making decisions impacting interscholastic athletics.”

(NOTE: High-risk sports is in reference to the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus.)

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