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Football, volleyball, competitive cheerleading bumped to spring season

State sports officials have announced that high school football, volleyball and competitive cheer seasons will be delayed until at least March 1.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association made the announcement Wednesday night, half an hour before an online press conference. The organization said the decision was made by elected officers because of concerns associated with high-risk fall sports.

Low- and moderate-risk sports — soccer, cross country, field hockey, golf and tennis — are scheduled to go forward starting with practice on Sept 21.

“We’ve spent two days speaking with nearly 500 athletic directors across the state and it’s clear that administering high-risk fall sports during the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge for our member schools,” Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director, said in a press release. “These are unprecedented times and unfortunately, difficult decisions will have to be made to address this ongoing crisis. We continue to stay committed to providing support to our member schools and quality participation experiences for the students we serve.”

It’s still up to individual schools whether they want to proceed with low- and moderate-risk fall sports. Section II Executive Director Ed Dopp said in an email that schools are currently being polled as to their ability to play fall sports.

The NYSPHSAA moved start date for the regular spring sports season to April 19. The “Fall Sports Season II,” with football and volleyball, would begin with practice on March 1.

Many states are already playing fall sports, including football, especially in the south and midwest. Others have cancelled their football seasons or moved them to the spring.

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