NYSPHSAA gives update on spring sports to sections

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association sent out a memo to every section's executive director on Monday, telling leaders that the association has made some changes in the hope that teams will be able to start and finish a 2020 spring season.

The NYSPHSAA officers have waived the seven-day rule, allowing teams to play or practice for seven consecutive days for the spring season. A second change includes the possibility of waiving the representation rules for how many games a team has to play to qualify for the post-season tournament.

"I think it's great that New York state has waived the rule," said Hoosick Falls athletic director Tom Husser. "But our first area of concern is our schools and then the [Wasaren] League."

Some BOCES, like the QUESTAR III one in the Albany area, have a start date of April 1, while others like the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES have a start date of April 20. Schools from both are in the Wasaren League.

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"We have to decide what to do and we haven't met yet because there's no answer right now and every day it changes," Husser said. "It's a lot of what-ifs. We have a great group of athletic directors who want to do right for our league. It's very up in the air right now."

According to the state's bylaws, a team must play at least six contests on six different days to be eligible for sectionals, regionals and state tournaments.

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"The date students are able to return to school will play a significant role in the length of the spring sports season and the potential of league, section and state championships," according to Monday's memo. "With school districts closed for an extended period of time, sections and schools are individually determining the spring sport start dates and practice parameters that best meet the needs of the students they represent."

"Most of our sports got four or five days of practice in, but if and when we get started, we might be off for a month," Husser said.

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Additionally, April 27 has been established as a final day for a determination to feasibly host spring season championships.

"When schools are able to return, students will need a sense of normalcy, and providing them with any semblance of a regular season will be beneficial to them and their school community," according to Monday's memo. "Senior nights, practice, team dinners and wearing a school uniform should be the focus of interscholastic athletic programs following the COVID-19 crisis."

Husser said that whatever decisions are made, it will be done in the best intentions for the student-athletes.

"Everyone's intentions are good and we'll make the best of it," Husser said.


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