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Section III Executive Dir. talks state of fall sports

Gov. Cuomo announces schools to reopen with plans for fall season start of September 21 still tentative.

Posted: Aug 14, 2020 6:41 PM

WKTV - “We are doing everything in our ability to make sure that we can provide a safe environment for them to learn into compete in,” said John Rathbun, Executive Director of Section III Athletics.

Governor Cuomo has announced that schools can reopen this fall but with no official update on sports. When sports do resume, will students who choose to learn remotely be able to participate?

“In order to participate in high school athletics you have to be registered in your school taking three classes plus PE,” said Rathbun. “So if you're taking those classes virtually you would still be eligible for athletics because you're registered at that school.”

Fall sports on are pause until September 21. If they cannot resume then, there are plans for condensed seasons with fall sports overlapping winter and spring sports.

“You do have a number of students who play multiple sports, you have a number of coaches that coach a number of sports. So there's that three or four week overlap - or two weeks overlap - that would be a huge issue,” said Rathbun. “We don't know if we would have officials in an off-season because they might have family or work commitments. We don't know that. We don't know about busing, you know, what would be the availability of us is how many students can be on a bus.”

How would this affect team's schedules?

My gut feeling right now is if all the stars lineup correctly that we’ll be able to start practice on September 21 and then what we could possibly do it's just a regular season format where they would play schools within their own league for this fall semester. I think timewise that would also be all we would be able to do,” added Rathbun.

Some coaches have come up with ideas for virtual competition.

“For like swimming, they're talking about doing a swim meet virtually against another school. So the, let's say New Hartford has 30 girls and Liverpool has 30 girls that are competing, they would actually swim in their own pools and then they would match up the times or something like that. Cross country is talking about doing that kind of stuff,” said Rathbun.

So when can you expect updates?

“I just really, really, don't have an idea on when we're going to get the go ahead on any kind of afterschool activity. Whether it be band, debate, plays or anything like that. That's all important stuff for our students to help with their high school experience.

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