Cuomo announces all fall sports teams will be able to practice Sept. 21 and ‘low risk’ sports can play

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 24 that state athletic teams will be able to begin practicing on Sept. 21 and that some will be allowed to play games soon after.

Cuomo said at his press briefing that “low-risk” sports that GASD offers including tennis, soccer, cross country, and golf would be allowed to begin fall activities later next month and then compete locally. Competition would follow a required number of preseason practices for all but golf, which does not mandate them.

Cuomo also said practices for football and volleyball, which are considered “high-risk” sports, can also begin on Sept. 21, but games won’t be allowed to be played until a time to be determined.

“Higher-risk sports, including those with full physical contact, may begin to practice on September 21st but cannot play until a later date or December 31st,” a press release from Gov. Cuomo’s office read. “In accordance with the Department of Health’s guidance for sports and recreation during the COVID-19 public health emergency, practices for higher-risk sports are limited to individual or group, no- to low-contact training. Higher-risk sports include football, wrestling, rugby, hockey and volleyball.”

“They’ll get an opportunity to start practicing,” said New York State Public High School Athletic Association Executive Director Robert Zayas, when asked if there was a chance student-athletes that participate in football and volleyball might not play games in the fall season. “The next step is unknown.”

The fall sports start date was originally Aug. 24 before the NYSPHSAA last month pushed it to Sept. 21. High school athletics activities haven’t taken place in New York since early March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The conclusion of several winter-season championship events were canceled, as was the entirety of the spring competition season.

What about GASD fall athletics?

GASD cannot officially start anything related to fall athletics until the NYSPHSAA and Section 2 give the district the official move forward, said Athletic Director Steve Nolan. NYSPHSAA and the executive committee of Section 2 are meeting throughout the week to plan for the fall sport season.  

In the meantime, all Greater Amsterdam student athletes should review the Athletics Code of Conduct and have an updated Health History for Athletics Form completed. The form can be downloaded below or is available by contacting the Athletics Office.

Student athletes/parents should contact their head coaches for specific questions and informational needs. The district is currently offering the following fall sports:

Football – Varsity, Junior Varsity, Modified (One team- Grade 7/8)

Boys/Girls Soccer – Varsity, Junior Varsity, Modified

Tennis – Varsity

Golf – Varsity

Cross Country – Varsity, Modified