New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will allow high school football teams to practice (staring September 21), but not play games due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo made the announcement on Monday while also saying that “low-risk” sports such as soccer, cross-country, field hockey, tennis and swimming can start practicing and playing games on September 21.
“The State has done a lot of research on how we can safely have our students participate in school sports and get the exercise they need, and the guidance we developed will allow lower-risk sports to begin practicing and playing next month,” said Cuomo. “We are approaching youth sports as we have approached everything else in our phased reopening – teams are not allowed to compete outside a school’s region or contiguous region for the time being until we can gauge the effects.”
In mid-July, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association adjusted its Fall sports season by pushing back the start of Fall practice for all sports to September 21 from its original opening slated for August 24.
State athletic officials may now start focusing on moving football to the Spring sports season. In anticipation of such a move, the NYSPHSAA has a three-season plan on the books that would move football to March through May.
If football games are allowed to return in September, football teams would need ten practices before playing regular season games, which means schools would need to dramatically adjust their usual 7-8 game regular seasons. The state has already said there won’t be state championships.