High Risk winter sports are now waiting on further guidance from Albany

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 16 January 2021 at 4:31 pm

In mid December the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced the postponement of High Risk winter sports (basketball, wrestling, ice hockey) “until authorization is granted by state officials.”

Since that announcement on December 12 no further information and or guidance has been issued by the the state Health Department or the Governor’s office concerning the status of those “High Risk” sports.

And with time rapidly disappearing to get a winter sports season in the uncertainty of this situation is causing plenty of frustration for athletes and coaches as well as for school district, league and sectional officials.

This past week the New York State Athletic Administrators Association sent a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to permit High Risk sports to begin playing and Section VI officials indicated their readiness to get High Risk winter sports going once they receive approval from Albany

In a broadcast interview on Friday Section V Executive Director Kathy Hoyt voiced some of those same concerns when she said “We’re waiting for the guidance. Depending on when it is given will determine what the season will look like. We just don’t know. The key here is when and if and at this point we have no indication when or if anything is going to happen.”

In voicing the concern and the frustration of many the problem Hoyt noted is that “we have heard nothing since mid December.”

She noted the information sectional officials have received is that “at this point they (the State Health Department) has no intention to reevaluate” the risk rating (low, moderate or high) of the various sports.

“Our goal is to give as many kids as possible the opportunity to participate in as many sports as possible,” she said. “When word is received our member schools will be ready to go. Everyone is prepared. If we get the green light our member schools can readily prepare our athletes and coaches” for the protocols needed to be followed for the season.

“We just want to stay positive and hopeful,” she added. “Some advocacy efforts are underway legislatively and locally to reinstate High Risk sports and that is awesome.”

For now athletes, coaches, school districts, league and sectional officials can only wait for that further guidance and information on the status of the “High Risk” sports to be forthcoming from Albany.