High school students are readying for a whole new experience this school year, and now there are more changes to sports for New York's student-athletes, including the Utica-Rome area.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) is postponing the start of winter sports two weeks to November 30th. The delay is being implemented to give the fall sport season, which has already been delayed to a September 21 start, time to finish.

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Earlier this month, New York State gave the okay for "low risk" sports like cross-country, soccer, and field hockey the okay to start, while "higher risk" sports like football are delayed, but practice is allowed to begin.

There will be no games outside of a school's particular region, so, unless something changes toward the end of the fall seasons, there would be no competing for state championships. The Governor has said the situation will be re-evaluated on October 19.

The New York State Council of Superintendents had asked the state to delay the start of all sports until 2021 across the state, but the Governor deferred the decision back to individual districts.

The NYSPHSAA has a task force working on a number of issues surrounding high school sports seasons, including what would happen if a season was cut short by a COVID-19 outbreak. The task force has also developed a "Plan B" which would condense seasons, if school are unable to follow the current plan.

The task force is developing a document with guidance for member schools which is expected to be released on this week.


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