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WAC working on plan for high-risk sports

The governor’s office has announced that “higher risk” sports can resume Feb. 1. Guidance from the governor’s office says “individual or distanced group training and organized no/low-contact group training” can start next month, along with games and/or tournaments if local health authorities like county health departments allow.

Although this is exciting news for our athletes, there are still many hurdles to clear before our local Departments of Health, New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Section 2, Western Athletic Conference and school superintendents give the final all clear for our athletes to play. Decision making is already underway. As soon as we have an official decision, we will let everyone know.

The WAC released the following statement Wednesday about high risk winter sports:

“The Western Athletic Conference is developing a plan for the implementation of high risk winter sports (basketball, wrestling and cheerleading) with an anticipated start date of Feb. 1,” the statement says. “Our goal is to provide a safe, positive and meaningful interscholastic athletic experience for our students. We are working in consultation with our local county health departments to ensure the health and safety of our students, coaches, staff, officials and school communities. We appreciate the time our health departments are directing towards interscholastic athletics during these trying circumstances.

“As has become the norm with this pandemic, this situation is very fluid and ever changing,” the statement continues. “We will share an update on an official start date as more information becomes available and necessary approvals have been granted. Please continue to be patient, but ready to begin the season quickly if approval has been given. Thank you for your continued support during this most challenging time.”

High school winter sports deemed “high-risk” have been on hold since a December announcement from the NYSPHSAA. They had said high-risk sports would be on hold until authorized by the state. The state’s guidance opens the door for the sports to resume.

Winter state championships have already been canceled by the NYSPHSAA.

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