The start of any public high school sports across Long Island is a month away, however news received by other parts of the state on Friday cannot be viewed as a good sign. Guidance for high-risk sports, due out by Friday, are on hold.
At an impromptu late afternoon news conference, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was asked about the status of high-risk winter sports – defined by the state as boys and girls basketball, wresting and competitive cheerleading – and budget director Robert Mujica indicated that climbing COVID-19 infection rates across the state has given the administration pause.
"We're still holding," Mujica said. "We said ‘as we are looking at what the infection rates are doing’ and the infection rates continue to increase, so we're not in a position to put out guidance for the high-risk sports.
"So, as of now, the decision is we're not turning on those sports while the infection rates continue to increase."
Low- and moderate-risk sports - bowling, gymnastics, indoor track and field, skiing and swimming and diving, per the state – are yet to be affected and remain on schedule to be played.
While the increasing infection rates and Friday’s announcement could be viewed as bad indicators, nothing has changed for interscholastic sports at Long Island’s public schools.
The governing bodies for school sports in Nassau and Suffolk – Section VIII and Section XI – both decided against playing sports in the fall. Instead they will play three compressed seasons from January to June.
The first day for winter sports practices in both counties has been and remains Jan. 4.