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Section III Athletics Announces
Interscholastic Athletics Plan for Fall 2020

September 11, 2020   05:15 p.m.
    Press Release from Section III Athletics:

    Section III Athletics Announces Interscholastic Athletics Plan for Fall 2020

    East Syracuse, NY – Section III Athletics of the New York State Public High
    School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced today that fall sports will
    proceed as anticipated based on guidance from NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo,
    New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and NYSPHSAA officials.  
    Practices may begin for low and moderate risk fall sports on September 21, 2020
    and higher risk fall sports may begin March 1, 2021.  The decision was rendered
    by the Executive Committee early this morning.  The committee’s decision is a
    result of reviewing feedback provided by member schools.  

    “We’ve received feedback this week from the majority of our 104 member
    schools.  More specifically, 97 schools responded with 58% indicating they are
    ready to begin fall sports, and 42% requesting a delay of fall sports until after
    January 1, 2021,” said John Rathbun, Section III Executive Director. “We
    understand the challenges many schools face and the difficult decisions
    superintendents, principals, and athletic administrators are being required to
    make to keep student-athletes, spectators, and sport officials safe.  We continue
    to stay committed to providing support to our member schools and the student-
    athletes we serve.”

    The plan, approved today by the Section III Executive Committee, emphasizes no
    fall sectional tournament competition.  The following groups contributed to the
    development of the plan:  Section III Executive Director & staff, Section III
    representative of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force, League Presidents and
    Athletic Administrators, Sport Coordinators & Sport Committees, and Chief
    School Officer (CSO) committee members.  The following guiding principles
    grounded the decision-making process:

  • Ensure the health and safety of all student-athletes
  • Re-engage all student-athletes as soon as possible for their social,
    emotional and mental well-being
  • Maximize participation across all sports and all student-athletes
  • Keep competition as local as possible for as long as possible
  • Maintain the ability to pivot to back-up plans when deemed necessary
  • The fall of 2020 season there will be no sectional or NYSPHSAA regional or
    state completions (Fall Season I and Fall Season II)

    “We understand and recognize the issues of equity and access this decision will
    create for schools and leagues within our section,” said Joseph DeBarbieri,
    Section III President.  For a variety of legitimate and logistical reasons, some
    school districts may opt out of our fall sports season.  In those cases, we respect
    the individual district decision.”

    The Section III Executive Committee and Executive Director will continue to
    monitor additional guidance from the New York State Governor’s Office, New
    York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Education
    Department (NYSED), and New York State Public High School Athletic
    Association (NYSPHSAA) as circumstances change.