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NYSPHSAA task force still plans fall sports to start Aug. 24 if schools can open

A high school football game between Farmingdale and

A high school football game between Farmingdale and Massapequa is played at Farmingdale High School in Farmingdale, New York on Saturday, Oct 12, 2019.  Credit: Steven Ryan

The task force formed to address New York State’s issues with the coronavirus outbreak had its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, but has taken no drastic measures. The proposition of playing spring sports in the fall was a topic of discussion, but NYSPHSAA director Robert Zayas said it was “too soon” to take such a drastic step.

Fall sports, slated to open up on Aug, 24, remain in the plan — subject to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo deciding later this month that schools will reopen.

Zayas explained that participants in spring sports already were affected when the season shut down in March and that all members of the task force were hesitant about those athletes being affected again in the 2020-21 school year.

He also reiterated that schools are part of Phase 4 of the state reopening plan.

“There will be no sports if schools do not return,” Zayas said in a news conference on the Zoom platform.

The task force on Wednesday put out a release of Frequently Asked Questions and answers regarding high school sports that is available on the state’s website.

Cuomo’s office and the state’s Department of Education issued updates to the task force, which will meet again before the end of the month.

Different regions of the state could begin having high school sports practices at different times, much as the reopening procedures for businesses have been staggered, Zayas said.

“Today’s meeting was our first step in addressing concerns and examining readily available information related to the COVID-19 crisis,” Zayas said. “We are all focused on providing student-athletes with the opportunity to participate this fall with guidance from the Department of Health and in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s restrictions.”

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