EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. - After a year without postseason competition, champions will be crowned in the central New York region for high school sports this spring.
Section III Athletics has announced the approval of the 2021 Spring Section Championships, Tuesday, marking the first sports that will have postseason competition this academic year.
"We established a goal at the end of last school year to do everything in our power to ensure that our spring sports athletes wouldn't be denied an opportunity to compete for a sectional championships two years in a row," said John Rathbun, Section III Executive Director. "It's been a challenging school year for all of us, but our students have done a tremendous job keeping each other safe from COVID, and with out local Department of Health guidance set in place, we are pleased to offer this athletic competition to our member schools and student-athletes."
The plan for sectional competition was approved on Monday by the Section III Executive Committee.
This will be the first postseason competition of any kind in the high school ranks locally since the Section III winter sports championships in late February 2020, shortly before the onset of the pandemic.
With the approval, Section III intends to hold single-elimination championship events in the sports of boys and girls lacrosse, baseball, softball, track and field, boys and girls golf, and boys tennis.
Seeding meetings in each sport will take place on June 6, with postseason competition beginning the week of June 7. Tournaments will all conclude by June 12, or June 13 if a rain date is necessary.
Qualification requirements for teams will remain as they have been in previous years, with the potential that some classes may be split if entrees exceed 16 teams in a single class for a sport.
There will be no neutral site locations this year as all games throughout the tournament events will take place at the school of the higher-seed involved.
Spectators will be limited to up to two per student-athlete and may not exceed 50% of the maximum capacity for each particular venue.
There will be no admission fee for spectators.
The ability to hold sectional competition is contingent upon the status of the pandemic at the time of the intended event, Section III said it will continue to monitor additional guidance from proper health authorities in the meantime.
If all goes right, schools will finally be able to compete for championship banners across the 11 counties and 105 school districts that make up Section III, once again.