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Section II and III push back spring start date

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In a press release, Section II athletics announced Monday that it had extended its suspension of games and scrimmages for member schools through April 30.

Previously, Section II’s ban on playing games and scrimmages had extended until April 19 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the entire state and nation have been dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic for the past several weeks, Section 2 continues to be in touch with the many local health departments, the state health department, as well as the continued monitoring of the NYSED and Federal & State Government information that is coming out,” the press release said. “We are in unprecedented times and the Section is taking action to do our part in protecting our student- athletes and our entire school communities.”

“Effective immediately: We are extending our section-wide decision to suspend any and all member schools from hosting scrimmages, league or non-league contests through April 30th,” the release said.

“As per the NYS Governor, schools are currently shut down thru April 15 . That date may or may not be extended. However, if that date is not extended, our member schools will follow the CDC Guidelines, as recommended by The President of the United States,” the release said. “If that date is extended by the Governor, that action will shut down all school interscholastic activities through the new deadline date, at which point we will review and advise.”

“We continue to hold out hope that we may be able to have a return to interscholastic athletics and for whatever duration we are able to. This pandemic and the immediate public health concern are the highest priority at this time, and we will continue to do all that we can to play a role in the stopping of the spread of this virus.

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that mandatory school closures will extend until at least April 29.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association previously announced April 27 as a deadline for itself to determine if it will be possible for the organization to sponsor spring state championships.

The NYSPHSAA in late March waived the seven consecutive-day rule for the 2020 spring sports season, which means teams would be able to practice and play games on seven consecutive days during the regular season rather than needing at least one off day every week.

After the postponement of the New York State Regents exams Monday, NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas wrote on his Twitter page: “June Regents canceled. Schools closed until April 29th. Signs of curve flattening. Let’s stay optimistic. We need students in classrooms in order for them to participate in sports. Practicing social distancing increases the likelihood of spring sports being a reality.”

Section III

EAST SYRACUSE — In Section III, the decision was similar.

Section III Executive Director John Rathbun also issued a press release Monday.”

“Section III is extending the start of the spring sports season to comply with the New York State Governor’s mandates and policies related to coronavirus until April 29th. Section III will continue to adhere to any and all extended dates and regulations established by the NYS Governor’s office,” the release said.

“Section III leadership will continue to be in communication with the local and state health departments and continue to work closely with NYSED and the NYSPHSAA. Additional updates will be provided as circumstances warrant,” the release said. “We are grateful to out member school for their continued support and their efforts to ensure quality educational and athletic experiences for our students. We ask for your understanding and patience as we navigate these unprecedented times.”

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