CLOSINGS: View Closings

Section III opts to proceed with low, moderate-risk fall sports season

In a section-wide vote, most responding school districts decided to move forward with a fall season for low and moderate-risk sports. Section III will not hold any sectional postseason events.

Posted: Sep 11, 2020 8:36 PM

WKTV - Section III Athletics of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), which encompasses Central New York, announced that it will proceed with low and moderate-risk fall sports as intended beginning Sept. 21, Friday.

The section held a vote this week with ballots going out to the 105 member school districts, nearly 30 of them within the NEWSChannel 2 viewing area. Schools submitted their ballots on Thursday, signed by the districts' Superintendent, Athletic Director, and High School Principal.

According to Section III Executive Director John Rathbun, 97 school districts responded to the vote with 58% indicating they are for proceeding with the fall sports season, while 42% requested a delay of sports until after Jan. 1, 2021.

Following a meeting of the Section III Executive Committee, reviewing the feedback of member schools, it was decided that the section would proceed with the season.

"We understand the challenges many schools face and the difficult decisions superintendents, principals, and athletic administrators are being required to make to keep student-athletes, spectators, and sport officials safe," said Rathbun. "We continue to stay committed to providing support to our member schools and the student-athletes we serve."

This decision applies only to low and moderate-risk fall sports. High-risk sports (football, volleyball, and competitive cheer) will begin its "Fall Sports Season II" on March 1, 2021, as directed by the NYSPHSAA earlier in the week.

Along with the decision to proceed, Section III announced its interscholastic athletics plan for the fall season.

The season will last for seven weeks with a Nov. 14 end date for any approved sports. There will be no fall sectional tournaments in either the traditional fall or Fall II seasons, but leagues will have the opportunity to hold its own league postseason tournament or extend regular season play.

NYSPHSAA had already previously cancelled all fall sports state championship events.

With that, league play will become the priority for teams this year.

Section III has also recommended that travel for non-league or out-of-section contests be limited and only in compliance with NYS Department of Health guidance.

School districts are to use their own discretion to decide on holding sub-varsity (JV, modified) level athletics for younger athletes, and are urged to create intramural athletic opportunities for students if interscholastic athletics are not carried out.

Section III cited financial and budgetary concerns for its decision not to hold a sectional tournament in any sport.

Should schools individually determine a fall sports season would not be feasible, Section III said it would support the decision not to host in the fall and would work with those member schools to delay their traditional fall sports to the Fall II season in March.

"We understand and recognize the issues of equity and access this decision will create for schools and leagues within our section," said Joseph DeBarbieri, Section III President. "For a variety of legitimate and logistical reasons, some school districts may opt out of our fall sports season. In those cases, we respect the individual district decision."

Locally, Cooperstown Central School District announced its plan, on Wednesday, to cancel its fall sports season, with Remsen and Waterville both deciding to indefinitely delay their athletics until further notice on Friday.

The Section III staff, its representative on the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force, league presidents and athletic administrators, sport coordinators and committees, and Chief School Officer committee members were all involved in the decision making process.

The winter sports season is set to begin on Nov. 30, further determinations regarding that season will be made at a later date.

Section III said it will continue to monitor additional guidance from the Governor's Office, NYS Department of Health, NYS Education Department and NYSPHSAA as circumstances change in order to make future decisions.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1611031

Reported Deaths: 47156
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2061178675
Kings2046548996
Suffolk1595713049
Nassau1452902890
Bronx1402445807
Westchester1055502078
New York1005843852
Erie640661585
Richmond558791558
Monroe51913977
Rockland37948884
Orange36102720
Onondaga32054620
Dutchess21862404
Albany20526328
Oneida19519475
Niagara15100309
Broome14412333
Saratoga11723145
Schenectady10685177
Ulster9854226
Rensselaer8860130
Putnam820486
Chautauqua7213122
Chemung6397130
Oswego593589
Ontario569988
Steuben5452137
St. Lawrence533680
Cayuga531287
Jefferson468163
Sullivan466259
Herkimer4531106
Wayne440964
Genesee4335118
Cattaraugus432476
Madison379284
Livingston347855
Clinton346826
Tompkins341442
Columbia334794
Fulton324580
Montgomery3121105
Cortland310260
Allegany285681
Warren279555
Wyoming277848
Tioga277156
Greene259869
Orleans242280
Chenango239069
Washington227952
Otsego226743
Lewis202630
Franklin199612
Seneca156453
Delaware146933
Essex131726
Schoharie117612
Yates101126
Schuyler85212
Hamilton2772
Unassigned217137
Out of NY0191
Rome
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Binghamton
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 18°
Rome
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 22°
Rome
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 22°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2021 Golfer's Paradise Card - 21 Courses for only $99.99
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve