The Section II Executive Committee, with input from NYSDOH, NYSED, NYSPHSAA, School Administrators, Athletic Directors, Sport Coordinators and Section II Officials, has made the decision to begin the winter sports season on December 14 in accordance with the Governor and NYSDOH approvals. The high risk ports will not be given approval to start until the NYSDOH approves them for competition.
Winter sports offerings include the following low/moderate risk sports: bowling, gymnastics, indoor track & field, skiing and boys swimming and diving. The section is waiting on approval for the high-risk sports of basketball, wrestling, cheer leading, boys volleyball and ice hockey.
High risk sports are tentatively scheduled to begin on Dec. 14, pending approval from the NYSDOH for competition. If approval is not granted, the official start date will be pushed to Jan. 14, 2021, still pending approval to compete.
Section II President Joe Sapienza has guided the Executive Committee with the focus on the Section II mission statement. The mission statement includes: ‘Our primary goal is to provide safe, quality experiences which foster sportsmanship for our student-athletes, coaches, fans and school communities.’
“The section’s goal through all of this is to is to be able to provide a safe opportunity to participate for all of our sport offerings,” Sapienza said.
“This decision has been made with an understanding of the many challenges school districts and those involved in interscholastic athletics will face. With the guidance we currently have and the commitment to a high level of compliance with that guidance, we can safely provide this opportunity to our member schools, Section II Executive Director Ed Dopp said. “We understand that for a variety of reasons some school districts may opt out of our winter sports offerings. In those cases, we respect and support the individual district decision.”
The Winter 2020-21 season is scheduled to run through Feb. 28. The season will focus on regular season play, primarily with league competition. Reduced and condensed sectional competition will only take place if NYSPHSAA is offering NYPHSAA state championships. If there are no state championships, Section II will encourage and support leagues to engage in league culminating events, all of which would conclude by Feb. 28.
It is the hope and goal of Section II that Winter Sports will be able to complete a good portion , if not all, the maximum allowable contests. Should there be interruptions or a need to shut down, the Section will address those circumstances at that time. With the Fall 2 season running from March 1-April 30, and Spring Sports running from May 1-June 30, it is likely that winter sports, if postponed, will not have additional opportunities.