GENEVA — It has been known for approximately two weeks that high school student-athletes will get the chance to compete in interscholastic sports this fall season.

Last Friday, the anticipated release of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s detailed return to interscholastic athletics indeed happened, and with it a trove of sought after information for student-athletes, coaches, fans and school administrators.

Figuring out where to begin in a sea of information bears a tall task, but from the nearly 50-page document, below is a recap of the most important information.


While the Sept. 21 start date remains set in stone, the ending date for the fall season will be determined by the individual sections. The season cannot exceed 15 weeks.

The green-lit fall sports remain cross country, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, soccer, girls swimming & diving, and girls tennis. The high-risk sports of cheerleading, football and volleyball remain in practice-only scenarios.

As for the low- and moderate-risk sports, teams must play games within their section or league until Oct. 19; games may then be played outside a school’s section or league.

As expected, there will be no regional or state championships.

For the Finger Lakes region, it seems that schools competing in the same league from different counties will not be affected by this rule. For example: Newark (Wayne County) will be permitted to compete against Geneva (Ontario County) and Penn Yan (Yates County) in the Finger Lakes East league.

The practice requirements were modified, and most fall sports will require a minimum of 10 practices; football will be a minimum of 12. Only one practice per day may be counted, as per the NYSPHSAA Handbook.

The seven-consecutive-day rule will be waived, starting on Oct. 12.

The NYSPHSAA has determined that modified/junior varsity matters will be left to be decided by individual school districts.

With practices beginning on Sept. 21 and the seven-consecutive-day rule not being waived until Oct. 12, a realistic start date to competition could be Oct. 2.


Before the official document was released, the NYSPHSAA announced that winter sports season would be pushed back two weeks to make room for the delayed fall start.

The official start date of the winter season is now Nov. 30, with an end date to be determined by the individual sections. The season may not exceed 22 weeks.

State championships will be planned, but are subject to change.

The official start of the spring season is marked for March 15.

The document also released specific considerations for each fall sport.

As the season gets closer, the Times will be releasing detailed previews for each sport that will include the specific considerations for each sport.

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