COVID-19 has affected us in numerous ways — not just athletics. Social distancing, self quarantines, working, teaching and learning from home, unemployment, exploring alternate avenues of employment, etc.
I, for one, found myself seeking employment elsewhere. Fortunately, while certain entities were dragging their feet with unemployment and stimulus assistance, I was able to land a temporary position with a major retail outlet.
Despite this other job, I will continue to attempt to find items of interest to occasionally post to the Tioga County Sports Report website.
On Thursday, I came across information on the New York State Public High School Athletic Association website regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The release, authored by Chris Watson, Director of Communications for NYSPHSAA, is intended to provide its members schools with up-to-date information related to NYSPHSAA’s response, rules and New York State Education Department regulations. While this information is directed toward member schools, I believe much of the general public may find it useful as well.
The COVID-19 Q&As can also be found on the organization's website.
Q1: What is NYSPHSAA doing to respond to membership concerns related to the COVID-19 crisis?
A1: The NYSPHSAA is convening a COVID-19 Task Force to examine potential impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the fall 2020 season and the 2020-2021 school year.
Q2: How will COVID-19 Task Force members be selected?
A2: NYSPHSAA President Paul Harrica is currently in the process of selecting individuals to serve on the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force.
Q3: When will the COVID-19 Task Force meet and provide guidance?
A3: It is anticipated the COVID-19 Task Force will meet for the first time in late May and throughout the summer to analyze available information from the New York State Department of Health, New York Governor’s office and local health departments.
Q4: What are some of the topics the COVID-19 Task Force will review?
A4: The COVID-19 Task Force will review all aspects of the fall 2020 season and the 2020-2021 school year related to the COVID-19 crisis, such as practice requirements, fan attendance, resocialization efforts, protocol, procedures, transportation, etc.
Q5: Will the COVID-19 Task Force make NYSPHSAA rule changes?
A5: The COVID-19 Task Force will not have the authority to make rule changes. The task force will be in place to examine available information and make recommendations to NYSPHSAA’s Executive/ Central Committee, 11 sections and the membership.
Q6: Where should NYSPHSAA member schools go for up to date information?
A6: The best source for up to date information is always the NYSPHSAA website at www.nysphsaa.org and social media platforms.
ELIGIBILITY STANDARDS & NYSED
Q1: Will students have the ability to extend their athletic eligibility as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?
A1: As per the New York State Education Department’s Duration of Competition Regulation, students are limited to four consecutive years of athletic eligibility upon entering the ninth grade (five years for students who participate at the high school level as an 8th grader and six years for students who participate at the high school level as a 7th grader). Students are able to apply for an extension of eligibility, as per the regulation, if the student experiences an illness, accident or social/ emotional condition which causes the student to miss a semester of eligibility AND the illness, accident or social/ emotional condition requires the student to take additional semesters to graduate. The current interpretation is students who repeat a grade because of the COVID-19 crisis would not be candidates for an extension of eligibility since school has continued to occur and credits towards graduation have not been interrupted. Currently, NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas is seeking guidance from NYSED on this regulation.
Q2: Will the NYSPHSAA Transfer Rule be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and the cancellation of the Spring 2020 season?
A2: There will be no impact upon the NYSPHSAA Transfer Rule as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Q3: Will the NYSPHSAA Representation Rule be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and the cancellation of the Spring 2020 season?
A3: There will be no impact upon the NYSPHSAA Representation Rule as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Q4: My school district is concerned students will have difficulty getting preparticipation physical exams (PPE) in preparation of the fall 2020 season. Is this being addressed?
A4: The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) has released a position statement on preparticipation physical exams recommending a one-year extension on all physical exams. The NYSPHSAA Safety Committee will review this recommendation from the NFHS SMAC. The requirement for annual physical exams is a regulation of the NYSED; any revisions to this requirement would be made by NYSED. NYSPHSAA Executive Director, Dr. Robert Zayas, will also seek guidance from NYSED on this regulation.
Q5: I have coaches who need CPR and first aid training for recertification. What are their options at this time?
A5: NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas is working with NYSED to determine options to ensure coaches are able to recertify in preparation of the fall 2020 season and the 2020-2021 school year.
Q6: Can DASA training be conducted online?
A6: On March 20, the NYSED provided the following guidance on DASA training:
“Some institutions of higher education and other organizations that provide the six clock hour Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) training are no longer holding classes in-person due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, preventing them from conducting the required minimum three clock hours of face-to-face instruction in the DASA training.
"To allow DASA training to continue, all approved DASA training providers, and institutions of higher education that include the DASA training in their educator preparation program curricula, may offer the DASA training entirely online during the time period of the state of emergency in New York State for the COVID-19 virus.
"Contact the Office of Teaching Initiatives at email@example.com if you have any questions regarding the DASA training.”
2020 WINTER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Q1: What is being done to honor the teams who were participating in the Winter State Championships that were canceled on March 23, 2020?
A1: NYSPHSAA will provide all student-athletes, who were still participating in the winter championships, with a medal. NYSPHSAA has also recognized teams on its social media platforms.
Q2: When will these student-athletes be honored?
A2: The actual presentation of these awards has not been scheduled because of the current gathering restrictions.
Q3: What is the impact on the winter 2020 regional rotation?
A3: The winter 2020 regional rotations will be repeated for the winter 2021.
Q4: Since the basketball, bowling and ice hockey championships were cancelled, will these venues have an additional year added to their contracts?
A4: Yes; if the venue would like an additional year added, the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee will consider a proposal on May 27th to extend venue contracts for a year as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
2020 SPRING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Q1: Will Spring sport athletes be honored by NYSPHSAA?
A1: Unfortunately, since the spring sport seasons were canceled before any games or contests were held, there will be no recognition of spring sport athletes.
Q2: Will NYSPHSAA recognize the Spring sport Scholar Athletes?
A2: Unfortunately, the NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete program will not include spring athletes since the season was cancelled. This will not impact the School of Distinction or School of Excellence awards; NYSPHSAA will simply use the fall 2019 and Winter 2019-2020 teams for these recognitions. It is important to note schools still have to APPLY for the School of Distinction and School of Excellence awards.
Q3: What is the impact on the Spring 2020 regional rotation?
A3: The spring 2020 regional rotations will be repeated for the spring 2021.
Q4: How should I complete the NYSPHSAA Participation Survey as a result of the spring 2020 season being cancelled?
A4: Schools should still complete the NYSPHSAA Participation Survey. If rosters were finalized for spring 2020, use those numbers. If rosters were not yet established, simply use your 2019 numbers. Participation Survey data is valuable information utilized by the NYSPHSAA leadership and membership.
Q5: Since all the spring championships were cancelled, will these venues have an additional year added to their contracts?
A5: Yes; if the venue would like an additional year added, the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee will consider a proposal on May 27th to extend venue contracts for a year as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
SUMMER 2020 ACTIVITY
Q1: Will students be able to participate in non-school athletic activities during the summer?
A1: Summer activity is not regulated by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. At this time Governor Cuomo has established phases that businesses and organizations should rely upon when evaluating reopening.
Q2: Can my school allow open gym or weightlifting during the summer?
A2: This is an individual school district decision based upon New York state directives and Governor Cuomo’s phase in plans. FALL 2020 SEASON
Q1: Is NYSPHSAA planning to make any changes to the fall 2020 start date as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?
A1: At this time, NYSPHSAA is not planning to make any changes to the start date of the fall 2020 season. The scheduled start date for fall 2020 practice is Monday, Aug. 24 (Week No. 8 of the standard calendar).
Q2: Will the NYSPHSAA fall 2020 championship calendar or venue locations be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis?
A2: At this time all NYSPHSAA championship venues are available to host on the selected dates.
Q3: Will any changes be recommended or mandated for student participation or fan attendance for the fall 2020 season?
A3: NYSPHSAA is convening a COVID-19 Task Force to examine potential impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the fall 2020 season and the 2020-2021 school year. The committee will meet for the first time in late May.
Q4: I am concerned with the reconditioning of my school’s football helmets in preparation of the fall 2020 football season. What should I do?
A4: Reconditioning plants are beginning to open throughout North America. It is highly recommended that you contact your reconditioning company immediately.
Q5: Will the mandatory fall Athletic Director Eligibility Workshops be held in person or via video conference?
A5: The NYSPHSAA is planning to conduct the eligibility workshops in person in the fall as scheduled.
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