Section 9 voted today to delay the start of fall sports until March 1, 2021. This came off the heels of the New York State Public School Athletic Administration’s (NYSPSAA) decision to postpone all “high risk” fall sports, including football, cheerleading and volleyball until March 1. Section 9 took matters a step further and pushed all fall sports, even “low risk” athletics like soccer, girls’ field hockey, swimming and tennis to March 1.
This Thursday, September 10, the fate of high-school fall sports will be decided by the Section IX Athletic Council, which is slated to meet via Zoom. Although governor Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for fall varsity sports to begin practice on September 21 – with “low-risk” sports like cross-country running, soccer and girls’ swimming able to compete within their region and “high-risk” sports like football, cheerleading and volleyball limited solely to practice with no scrimmages or games – the state provided very little guidance, leaving each district and section to make its own determinations.
In July, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association pushed the start of its fall sports season back from August 24 to September 21 in response to the continuing pandemic. While New York governor Andrew Cuomo last week announced that school districts can reopen for in-person classes next month, nothing further has been decided about the start of fall sports.
For Saugerties High School Class of 2015 alum Biko Skalla, giving up a steady gig with Major League Baseball for a seasonal broadcasting job with the Savannah Bananas was an easy decision.
Saugerties recreation and parks director Greg Chorvas said that the American Legion and Dutchmen baseball will play short seasons starting this month. As the teams return to play, the insurance carriers have forwarded a series of guidelines and policies that must be followed.
“I have this opportunity to try and make it to the major leagues. That’s still the dream, and I’m going to give it everything I have.”
Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, numerous options that might be considered impractical or even bizarre under normal circumstances are at least under discussion, including postponing fall sports until spring. Flipping fall and spring sports is also a possibility, given there are fewer sports in the moderate- and higher-risk category played in the latter than the former.
Here’s the good news for runners. You can still run. Even during a public-health emergency, there are many virtual races and creative things that people are doing on line to keep themselves connected and engaged with their running compatriots.
Kingston’s team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL, a semi-pro league) — the Stockade FC — had its season cancelled this past week, an innocent victim of the coronavirus. It’s a disappointing turn for the players and fans and for second-year coach Jamal Lis-Simmons.
All local sports have been sidetracked by the brand-spanking-new COVID-19 (sounds like a phone number from the land-line era) — which all of us peasants know as the non-scientific and plebian corona (think Mexican beer) virus (think common cold, with a twist), as well as the vicarious world of sports viewing: no NBA, no NHL, no MLB, no NCAA, no NASCAR, no NFL, no XFL, no MLS, no WWF and even, unthinkable as it may become: no more BLT, no more FBI, no more CIA and even no more BB King.