LATHAM – The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced the cancellation of the remaining winter state championship events Monday. The impacted championship events include the boys and girls basketball regionals and state championships, as well as the ice hockey and bowling championships.
This affects Norwich’s girls basketball team, who was set to take on South Jefferson in the regional finals, as well as bowlers Cameron Birtch (Norwich), Erin Howard (Greene/Oxford) and Jakob Funnell (Greene/Oxford) after earning their spot at the New York State Championship with the Section IV Composite teams.
“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.”
Plans are being developed to honor and formally recognize the students and teams who qualified to participate in these championship events.
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.