The New York State Public High School Athletic Association plans to announce Monday the fate of the remaining winter sports championship events that were indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak late last week.
While those competing in boys and girls basketball, boys ice hockey and boys and girls bowling have been holding out hope they’d get to finish off playoff runs they started in championship fashion, the situation appears to be getting glum.
The state boys basketball chairpersons, based on input from the NYSPHSAA basketball committee, held a conference call Friday and it appears there is enough votes to recommend the cancellation of the season, according to Section VI Boys Basketball Chairman Larry Jones.
“That seems to be the consensus,” Jones said via phone from Virginia where he’s visiting family – including his grandchildren. “My thought was if spring sports were canceled and we’re back in school in April or May, it would leave a little room (to finish), but I guess I was in the minority in that thought process.”
Nothing will be finalized until all parties involved discuss the situation Sunday night with NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas via conference call. Zayas asked each section's executive director for its input regarding the state of the winter championships earlier this week and plans to release the decision Monday.
“At this point we’re soliciting more information from the section executive directors and the schools than the committees,” NYSPHSAA spokesman Chris Watson said. “We’ll take their recommendations and make a decision Sunday.”
Section VI Executive Director Timm Slade did not return a message.
While Jones is in favor of waiting and not canceling the remainder of the boys basketball tournament, it’s kind of a no-win situation given the current state of affairs. Sports have been cancelled. Large social gatherings are a no-no, too, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo having to go as far as issuing a state-wide ban on outdoor basketball games.
Section VI Girls Basketball Chariman Chris Durr believes it’d be difficult logistically to reschedule the remainder of the state tournament.
“Venues would be an issue, especially if colleges are closed to people,” Durr said. “Of course, if colleges are closed there’s a good chance high schools will be closed. We’re all hopeful to be back to school by end of April but I think the priority is to get healthy and back to normal.”
There’s a good chance several Section VI basketball teams, boys and girls, could have been playing for championships this weekend in Glens Falls and Troy in the Final Four if not for the Covid-19 pandemic. Williamsville North boys ice hockey had a state semifinal game at LECOM Harborcenter called off last week.
Jones and Durr feels for those athletes, especially the seniors, but …
“Sometimes we have to be the adult in the room," Jones said. "I know you’re unhappy, but your safety is more important than being put in harm’s way.”