Soccer, tennis, cross-country can begin Sept. 21
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday (Aug. 24) that high school athletic teams can begin practice and competition as of Sept. 21 but that sports with more physical contact, including football and volleyball, cannot compete “until a later date or Dec. 31.”
On Wednesday (Aug. 26), the New York State Council of School Superintendents asked Cuomo to abandon the plan and postpone sports until 2021. “Authorizing school athletics could jeopardize successful resumption of in-person learning,” it said, suggesting that fall and winter sports could be consolidated after Jan. 1.
Under the state plan, the soccer, cross-country and girls’ tennis teams at Haldane and Beacon and the girls’ swimming team at Beacon will be able to compete. The football and volleyball teams at Haldane and Beacon can practice with little or no contact but will not be able to compete.
In addition, teams that are allowed to compete will not be able to travel outside their region or adjacent regions or counties until at least Oct. 19.
Under state health guidelines last updated on Aug. 15, masks must be worn in common areas at games and when social distancing cannot be maintained. Each player is limited to two spectators. Coaches, trainers and other non-players must wear masks; athletes can wear masks unless they find it intolerable while playing.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association proposed in July that the fall sports season be delayed until Sept. 21, with state approval. The association also canceled the regional and state tournament for fall sports.
If Cuomo had not allowed sports to begin on Sept. 21, the association said the next option would be to move fall sports to early 2021. Winter sports would run about 10 weeks, followed by fall sports in March, then spring sports in May.
I dislike indecision. However, I find myself on both sides of this argument. Discourse would be far better than looking for political advantage.