NYSPHSAA cancels spring championships, regular season remains on hold

John Gokey, The TelegramThe Franklin Academy varsity baseball field, along with the rest of the outdoor sports facilities throughout Section 10, will remain idle until at least May 15, the date Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order of school shutdowns expires.

LATHAM – The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced on Monday that the spring state championships will be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This announcement affects baseball, softball, boys and girls track and field, golf, boys and girls lacrosse, as well as boys tennis.

“Unfortunately, with the continued impact of the COVID-19 crisis, hosting the spring 2020 state championships is no longer feasible (time factor, facility and venue availability, etc.),” said NYSPHSAA President Paul Harrica in a press release sent out Monday morning. “Canceling the remaining winter state championships in late March was challenging and the cancelation of our spring state championships today is equally disappointing.”

The NYSPHSAA set Monday as the date for its decision on the spring state championships a few weeks ago, however, they have yet to announce any type of date for the cancellation of the 2020 spring regular season.

New York is one of only five states which has yet to cancel its springs sports in their entirety. The other states are Connecticut, New Jersey, North Dakota and Vermont. Within the past week, four states have canceled their spring sports seasons.

“Today’s decision is difficult for the membership of NYSPHSAA,” said NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas in the release. “We certainly sympathize with the students, coaches and their school communities, especially the graduating seniors.”

The release stated that NYSPHSAA will “continue to rely upon information from the New York State Department of Health, local health departments as well as the Governor’s office for information and guidance on COVID-19 and its impact upon the spring regular season.”

Dr. Zayas has made clear several times that spring sports cannot return until students are back in the classroom. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a PAUSE order in effect until May 15, meaning students would not be returning to school until that date at the earliest.

Each section maintains the authority to cancel its own spring season if it sees fit. Last week, high school section Section 11 and Section 8, both of which are located on Long Island, announced that they would be canceling their 2020 spring sports regular seasons due to COVID-19’s impact in both Suffolk and Nassau county. To this point, no other section has canceled its season.

As far as Section 10, Athletic Coordinator Carl Normandin responded to the state announcement with the following.

“The Northern Athletic Conference/Section 10 schools will remain in a shutdown due to the COVID-19 health crisis. All athletic teams have put their seasons on hold at the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate of a ‘Stay at Home Directive,’ which includes the closures of all schools in New York state through May 15, 2020. Per these directives, it is in the best interest of our student/athletes to continue the suspension of (athletic related) extracurricular activities until further notice,” stated Normandin in an email to the Malone Telegram. “We certainly respect, understand and support the decision of the cancellation of the 2020 NYSPHSAA spring sport championships given the current health pandemic and all of the time sensitive and logistics that are involved in preparing for the state championships.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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