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Foothills, WAC to offer ‘low’ risk sports this fall

Due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foothills Council joined the Western Athletic Conference with its decision to postpone its “moderate” risk fall sports season.

Boys’ and girls’ soccer, field hockey and girls swimming and diving were slated to start practice Monday. However, they now join the “high” risk sports of football, volleyball, and competitive cheerleading in being moved to the Fall Sports Season 2, which will start practice on March 1, 2021.

The “low” risk sports of golf, cross country and girls’ tennis, varsity level only, may proceed with their seasons starting Monday. There will be no junior varsity or modified athletics this fall.

In a press release issued earlier this week by the Western Athletic Conference, it was stated that “After reviewing various sets of guidance and weighing the risks and benefits each sport presents, it was determined this decision was the most reasonable way for our schools to provide athletic opportunities to our students without jeopardizing the safe return of students to their respective schools. This decision still allows all students a possible opportunity to participate in athletics during the school year. Finally, it allows each district to allocate as many resources as possible to ensure the reopening plans are being implemented about the academic needs of our students.”

The WAC is made up of Fonda-Fultonville, Canajoharie, Fort Plain, Galway, Mayfield, Northville, Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville, Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Duanesburg, Mekeel Christian Academy, Middleburgh, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Schoharie.

Gloversville, Johnstown, Broadalbin-Perth and Amsterdam compete in the Foothills Council along with Scotia-Glenville, Glens Falls, South Glens Falls, Schuylerville, Hudson Falls and Queensbury.

The Fall 1 season will consist of a Foothills-only conference schedule. The size of varsity team rosters will be left to each individual school’s discretion. Travel rosters will be limited to one bus.

All coaches, athletes, referees, clock operators, scorekeepers, school personnel will always be required to wear an acceptable face covering throughout each contest.

When not participating athletes will socially distance at six feet apart and coaches will remain six feet socially distant unless demonstrating a play. No handshakes, first bumps or unnecessary physical contact will be allowed before, during and after contests. Student athletes will use hand sanitizer often during competition.

No spectators will be permitted to attend any Foothills Council competitions for the 2020 fall sports season 1.

If school is closed for in-person education during the school year because of an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, school-sponsored sports must be suspended until in-person education is resumed. Each district will work with its local department of health to follow quarantine and testing guidance if a student athlete or coach tests positive for COVID-19. Section 2 will provide additional directives should the 2020 fall sports season 1 be canceled or postponed because of the pandemic.

Earlier this week, the Wasaren and Adirondack Leagues announced they are postponing all fall sports seasons until the spring Fall 2 season.

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