The 2020 spring high school sports season in New York officially ended with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement Friday that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s 11 member sections canceled all spring sports in accordance with the governor’s announcement that schools would continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year.
Two of the state’s sections had already decided to cancel their seasons before this week. At the time of the announcement, 43 other state high school associations had canceled the sports season. Pennsylvania made the same move nearly a month ago, April 9, with the PIAA canceling spring sports following a school year-long closure.
The week began with a glimmer of hope for spring sports teams, as the NYSPHSAA canceled its spring championships Monday but said sections would be permitted to hold regular season contests if schools reopened by June 1. But on Friday, the long-delayed spring season ended before any contests could be played.
No Big 30 school has held an athletic contest since March 10, when the Olean boys basketball team won a Section 6 Class B crossover championship. By that weekend, Olean’s regional game had been postponed indefinitely and was later canceled, along with all other remaining winter regionals and championships.
WITH NO sports on the schedule until mid-August for the start of fall practices, the NYSPHSAA announced its president, Paul Harrica, will form an ad hoc committee “to address and analyze the potential impact of COVID-19 on the fall 2020 interscholastic athletic season.”
This committee will include school and district superintendents, principals, athletic directors, sectional executive directors and NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas, along with potential representation from the state education department and department of health and the NYS School Boards Association.
After convening, the committee will provide “recommendations if needed to NYSPHSAA’s 11 member sections to assist with planning and coordination of high school athletic programs,” the announcement said.
“I would like to commend the work of the 11 NYSPHSAA section executive directors who have worked tirelessly to benefit the students in their sections,” Zayas said. “Many throughout our state were hopeful students would have the chance to participate in high school athletics this spring and return to some sense of normalcy.
“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on many aspects of our lives and high school athletics is one of them. At this time, we must focus our attention on the health and safety of all New Yorkers. Please stay safe and stay positive during this difficult time.”