Start of N-O swim season delayed again

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 16 December 2020 at 2:43 pm

The start of the Niagara-Orleans League swim season has once again been delayed as the result of a decision made by the Section VI Executive Committee today.

Swim practice had been scheduled to begin on January 4 but the Executive Committee voted to further delay the start of winter sports until January 18. The Section had previously made the decision to pause the season until January 4.

“We as a Section remain committed to conducting our winter sport seasons,” said Section VI President, Brett Banker. “We are hopeful that by making this difficult decision, we are giving our communities, health departments, school officials and families just a bit more time.”

Last week, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) made the decision to cancel all winter state championships and in doing so, has given Sections the opportunity to extend out the traditional winter season.

“We are encouraged by the measured and cautious reopening plan that the Department of Health and Governor’s Office have endorsed,” continued Banker. “Schools are opening up. By starting winter sports on January 18 it allows us time to examine the numbers after the holiday season and gives athletic departments time to better prepare.”

“By delaying the winter season, we are hopeful that as the Governor examines high risk sports, the data will yield something different than what has been assumed since August,” added Banker. “Our athletes, coaches and athletic departments continue to implement and follow mitigating measures that have proven to keep athletes safe during practice and competition and we are confident these same measures will have the same result in sports that have not been permitted to play, yet.”