NYSPHSAA executive director Robert Zayas speaks to the attendees at...

NYSPHSAA executive director Robert Zayas speaks to the attendees at the First Annual Best Practice Series symposium held at the NYU Winthrop Research and Academic Center in Mineola on January 23, 2019. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The four Long Island basketball championship games and the state basketball tournament have been “postponed indefinitely,” according to Robert Zayas, the executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

Zayas said the games “potentially” could be played at a later date.

“Most likely we’ll wait until the end of March,” he said, “and we’ll reevaluate then.”

He said the state bowling and ice hockey championships also have been postponed.

Zayas said decisions as to whether spring sports can proceed are being left up to each school right now.

The decision was a result of the increasingly difficult scheduling obstacles sports officials have faced this week in trying to avoid large gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic, Zayas said.

“It was my goal to complete the winter championships on schedule,” he said. “It has become increasingly more difficult to host these championship events with the number of challenges that have been presented.”

In boys basketball, Elmont was scheduled to play Amityville in Class A and Baldwin was to face Brentwood in Class AA. In girls basketball, the games were between Westhampton and Locust Valley in Class A and Northport and Baldwin in Class AA.

After the colleges that planned to host the games pulled out, officials moved the games to high schools with limited crowds, then no crowd at all. The winners were to advance to the state tournament next weekend in upstate arenas.

But Zayas said Thursday that it no longer was a tenable situation to get the regional games played across the state.

“I also have concerns as the executive director of NYSPHSAA and a parent,” Zayas said, “that students will be participating in an event under circumstances that are not conducive to a quality and beneficial participation experience.”

The postponement also impacts the boys basketball team at Smithtown Christian and girls basketball teams at Carle Place and East Rockaway. Those teams had state tournament games rescheduled for this weekend.

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