According to a recent press release, the NYSPHSAA (New York State Public High School Athletic Association) has decided to cancel all winter regional and state championships due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Marathon varsity boys basketball team ended the season with a second consecutive Section IV Class D title and a 20-3 overall record. The Olympians were scheduled to play in the Regional Finals (State Quarter-Finals) against Smithtown Christian.
According to the NYSPHSAA, they are arranging plans to honor and recognize the student athletes and teams who qualified to participate in these championship events.
Here is the official press release from NYSPHSAA:
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announces the cancellation of the remaining winter state championship events. The impacted championship events include the boys and girls basketball regionals and state championships, as well as the ice hockey and bowling championships. Plans are being developed to honor and formally recognize the students and teams who qualified to participate in these championship events.
“It is with great disappointment that we make the decision to cancel the remaining winter championship events,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “Our association’s focus is to benefit students through participation in interscholastic athletics and unfortunately this rapidly developing situation has prevented our association from providing a quality championship experience. We certainly sympathize for the students who are being impacted by this crisis but at this time they deserve honesty from the leadership of our association.”
Factors that played a role in this decision include but are not limited to: the evolving COVID-19 public threat, CDC mass gathering recommendations, Governor Cuomo’s declaration of a state emergency, President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, input from the 11 Sections and extended school closures.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions the Officers of the NYSPHSAA have ever had to make,” said Paul Harrica, President of NYSPHSAA. “It has been determined it is not feasible for the Winter State Championships to be hosted in a safe and beneficial manner for the participating student-athletes and their teams in the near future. The health and safety of the students we serve will always be our top priority.”
With school districts closed for an extended period of time, Sections and schools are individually determining the Spring sport start dates and practice parameters that best meet the needs of the students they represent.
The status of the NYSPHSAA Spring State Championships will be determined on or prior to Monday, April 27.