Lower-risk high sports, including soccer, tennis, golf, and cross-country, will be allowed to begin practicing and playing September 21, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters at a press conference Monday.
High-risk sports, including football, basketball, volleyball, and wrestling, can also begin practicing--but won’t be able to play before December 31.
“Schools will be coming back, there will be a little bit of a period to judge what is happening, and September 21 they can begin to practice and play all across the state,” Governor Cuomo said.
For sports allowed to begin play now, they are limited to travel practices or games against teams from the same region or regions with a shared border. Travel can’t begin until October 19.
Schools will be responsible for making sure masks are worn and that social-distancing is practiced, but athletes will be exempt from those requirements where they’re not possible.
Indoor spaces are limited to 50 percent occupancy and only two spectators per participant will be allowed.
“Again, we are doing this in phases, we want to see what the effect is. we want to see how this works. Schools opening in general is a big question mark,” Governor Cuomo said
New York State Public High School Athletic Association Executive Director Robert Zayas said he would be meeting with the executive directors of the state’s sections to review the guidelines.
“The state has done a lot of research on how we can safely have our students participate in school sports and get the exercise they need, and the guidance we developed will allow lower-risk sports to begin practicing and playing next month,” Governor Cuomo said.
“We are approaching youth sports as we have approached everything else in our phased reopening - teams are not allowed to compete outside a school's region or contiguous region for the time being until we can gauge the effects.”