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Foothills Council bowling and swim teams to compete virtually

The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis The 2019-2020 Gloversville Huskies bowling team.

With the Foothills Council winter season slated to get underway Dec. 14 for “low and moderate” impact sports, league officials announced that the bowling and boys swim teams will be competing virtually.

“We are going to swim and bowl in our own establishments,” Foothills Council president and Amsterdam athletic director Steve Nolan said. “The ADs were coming up with a scoresheet that the bowling coaches will send to the league secretary who will compile the records and scores. We are not going to have the coaches exchange the scores. We are going to have the scores signed off by a representative of the house and those scores will be sent to the league secretary who will compile everything. He then shares it with me and I share it with the rest of the league.”

Locally, Gloversville will bowl its home matches at Arterial Lanes, while Johnstown will bowl at Perry Lanes. Broadalbin-Perth and Amsterdam both bowl their home matches at Kelly’s Imperial Lanes.

Having two teams bowling home matches in the same house presents a challenge.

“We will follow the direction of the house management,” Nolan said. “Whatever they tell us, we will work around them. We have limited the roster sizes and are not allowing fans at our contests, so it will basically going to be our teams.”

Competitors dive into the pool to begin the 50-yard freestyle event during a Foothills Council boys swim meet between Fonda-Johnstown and Amsterdam at Johnstown High School on Jan. 27. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

For boys’ swimming, the protocols will be basically the same.

“We are going to swim at our own places,” Nolan said. “There will be an official at each building and the scores will be shared after that. It is a little easier with swimming because there is an official there.”

This fall, the Suburban Council held its girls swim meets virtually, which gives the Foothills Council and other leagues a foundation to build on.

“We basically had the same plan in place before our superintendents decided to push those sports off until Fall 2,” Nolan said. “We will look at the kinks they worked out. Basically, our plan will be the same plan that they had for the schools that have swimming this winter.”

Nordic and Alpine ski teams also will start practice on Dec. 14 with a few changes.

“Skiing is a section sport instead of a Foothills sport,” Nolan said. “We will work with the people who own and run the ski areas and follow their direction. For the Nordic skiing, we are going to approach that the same as we did with cross-country this fall.”

Indoor track will not be held this season because there are no venues available.

“All of the colleges have shut their facilities down,” Nolan said. “The last couple of facilities we had the potential to use have since shut down. The Foothills Council schools that normally had indoor track will not be running this year.”

Section II teams utilized the indoor track facilities at Hudson Valley Community College, the University at Albany, Union and RPI in past seasons.

The local Western Athletic Conference schools that field bowling and swim teams in the winter, are discussing what protocols they will follow this season.

Earlier this week, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced it was moving the start date for “high” risk winter sports of basketball, wrestling, ice hockey and competitive cheerleading to Jan. 4. Those sports still need state DOH approval to start practice.

“We are doing everything we can to keep the kids playing,” Nolan said. “We have got to remember that we have to do it safely and what we do has effects, both positively and negatively, on the rest of our buildings. We are trying and people just have to have patience and use common sense.”

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