By Mike Zummo
As the new year begins and area and low- and moderate-risk sports teams are hoping to begin their seasons on Jan. 19, there remains no timeline in New York for high-risk sports to get approval from the New York State Dept. of Health and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“At this time there is no definitive timeline for authorization of high-risk sports to resume competition,” New York State Public High School Athletic Association Executive Director Robert Zayas said in a statement. “We’ll continue working with state officials and our member schools to determine when it is safe to compete.”
For the winter season, that means basketball and wrestling are in limbo.
Section 9’s Fall 2 sports season, scheduled for March, still lacks approval for football and volleyball. Boys’ lacrosse – in the spring – also lacks approval.
However, Zayas’ announcement about the lack of progress getting high-risk sports off the ground comes as neighboring states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania have completed their fall seasons, including football and volleyball.
The winter season in New Jersey was delayed as Gov. Phil Murphy on Dec. 5 signed an executive order which paused indoor sports practices and competitions for youth and adults through Jan. 2.
Murphy announced last Wednesday that indoor sports practices and competitions can resume but are subject to indoor gating limits, most recently set at 10 people. However, a practice or competition can proceed with more than 10 if there are no people not necessary for the activity present.
The New Jersey Scholastic Interscholastic Athletic Association issued a statement on Wednesday welcoming Murphy’s announcement.
“Of course, public health data still may impact our upcoming seasons,” NJSIAA officials said in a statement. “It’s essential we all continue supporting the three Ws – wear your masks, watch your distance and wash your hands’.”
In November, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference voted to postpone all winter sports until Jan. 19.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic athletic Association started its winter season on Monday.
The Mid-Hudson Athletic League approved its teams to begin their low- and moderate-risk sports seasons last Monday. However, Marlboro’s indoor track team is expected to begin on Monday. Wallkill’s low- and moderate-risk sports are expected to begin on Jan. 19.
All Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association low- and moderate-risk sports are scheduled to begin on Jan. 19.