Given the unprecedented events during Spring 2020 due to COVID-19, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association would like to provide the following FAQs to assist member schools with up to date information related to NYSPHSAA’s response, rules and NYSED regulations.
Q1: What is NYSPHSAA doing to respond to membership concerns related to the COVID-19 crisis?
A1: The NYSPHSAA has convened 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 were COVID-19 Task Force members selected?
A2: NYSPHSAA President, Paul Harrica, selected individuals to serve on the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force.
Q3: When will the COVID-19 Task Force meet and provide guidance?
A3: The COVID-19 Task Force met for the first time on June 10. The Task Force heard reports and updates from the Governor Cuomo’s office, the New York State Education Department and the New York State Health Department pertaining to the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it has had upon education and the reopening of schools.
The Task Force released guidance pertaining to on-campus summer conditioning workouts on June 12. School districts are encouraged to get acclimated with CDC and local health department guidance as well Governor Cuomo's restrictions, local laws and policies.
The Task Force also discussed and examined the result of a COVID-19 survey, distributed by NYSPHSAA, to gather a statewide perspective on the impacts and potential response to the COVID-19 crisis; roughly 6,000 athletic directors, administrators, and coaches submitted responses to the survey. The next meeting of the Task Force is being scheduled for late June.
Q4: What are some of the topics the COVID-19 Task Force will review?
A4: The COVID-19 Task Force will continue to 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 NYSPHSAA social media platforms. The NYSPHSAA website will include a specific section designed for COVID-19 information.
Q7: What is the status of the Fall 2020 season?
A7: Currently, valid and reliable information is not available to begin making decisions or providing recommendations pertaining to the Fall 2020 season. The Fall season is scheduled to begin on August 24; if revisions become necessary, the membership and Sections will be informed immediately.
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 4 consecutive years of athletic eligibility upon entering the 9th grade (5 years for students who participate at the high school level as an 8th grader and 6 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 New York State Education Department released a memo on May 21, 2020 which stated the following:
“Permit student athletes to participate in the fall 2020 sports season if they have previously had a health examination for school attendance in the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 school years and provide a health history completed and signed by the parent/guardian within 30 days of the start of the season. Student athletes who have not previously had a health examination must still obtain a health examination prior to participation in the fall 2020 sports season. At this time, students should plan to obtain the required health examination prior to participation in the winter or spring 2020-21 seasons, although that may change depending on the status of COVID-19 in the fall. The Department will provide updated information as needed.”
Q5: I have coaches who need CPR, and 1st Aid training for recertification. What are their options at this time?
A5: NYSPHSAA Executive Director, Dr. Robert Zayas, is waiting for guidance from NYSED related potential revisions to coaching certification.
Q6: Can DASA training be conducted online?
A6: On March 20, 2020, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding the DASA training.”
Q7: Has the Advanced Placement Process (APP) been modified or revised as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?
A7: No modifications or revisions have been to the APP.
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 is sending schools of 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. The medals are being shipped to schools no later than Tuesday, June 16.
Q3: What is the impact on the winter 2020 regional rotation?
A3: The winter 2020 regional rotations will be repeated for the winter 2021 as per the approval of the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee on May 27th.
Q4: Since the basketball, bowling and ice hockey championships were cancelled, will these venues have an additional year added to their contracts?
A4: Yes; the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee approved the extension of bid terms for Cool Insuring Arena (Boys Basketball) and Hudson Valley Community College (Girls Basketball) to host said NYSPHSAA State Championships for an additional year which would be March 2023 as a result of the cancellation of these State Championships.
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 did 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 as per the approval of the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee on May 27th.
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; the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee approved on May 27th the extension of bid terms for Mark Twain Golf Course (Boys Golf), SUNY Cortland (Girls Lacrosse), Hofstra University (Boys Lacrosse), Binghamton (Baseball), CNS (Outdoor Track) and Moriches Athletic Complex (Softball) to host said NYSPHSAA State Championships for an additional year as a result of the cancellation of these State Championships.
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. Schools are within Phase 4, and until Phase 4 is reached, schools remain closed. The NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force has released guidance for summer conditioning workouts on school campuses when they reach Phase 4.
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. In accordance with the Governor’s directives, schools are within Phase 4, and until Phase 4 is reached, schools remain closed.
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, valid and reliable information is not available to begin making decisions or providing recommendations pertaining to the fall 2020 season. The fall season is scheduled to begin on August 24; if revisions become necessary, the membership and Sections will be informed immediately.
Q2: Will the NYSPHSAA fall 2020 championship calendar or venue locations be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis?
A2: 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 has convened 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 met for the fist time on June 10; no recommendations have been made pertaining to fan attendance.
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.