Nassau high school sports postponed until 2021, out of 'abundance of caution and health and safety for our students'

High school sports
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By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Nassau County high school sports will be postponed until 2021, following a vote by county superintendents Wednesday morning at an emergency meeting.

The plan is to play all three sports seasons between January and June, when ideally, the threat of transmitting COVID-19 is significantly less or there is a vaccine.

Fall sports -- including soccer, football, volleyball, cross country and girls swimming -- will be moved to March and April. Winter sports -- including basketball, wrestling, winter track, boys swimming, fencing, gymnastics, bowling and cheerleading -- will be moved to January and February. Spring sports -- including baseball, softball, lacrosse, spring track and tennis -- will be moved to May and June. 

"This decision comes from an abundance of caution and health and safety for our students," said Hank Grishman, Jericho’s superintendent of schools. "No matter what procedures are put in place it’s just not safe to return to sports – there’s still too many unknowns with the virus. In my 50-year career in education nothing holds a candle to this. It’s all a bad dream."

Pat Pizzarelli, the executive director for Section VIII, the association that oversees middle and high school sports in the county, said, "It’s the prudent thing to do – wait until January. We know this will be a very unpopular decision, but it is the only one we can make at this time. We’re unanimous in our feeling that we’re just not ready. It’s just not time to allow kids to play sports. And my first and foremost concern is the safety of our student-athletes." 

He added, "We are still learning about this virus and its effects, short and long term,” Pizzarelli added. “The science behind it continues to uncover scary truths, especially the potential for heart ailments and long-term heart damage for kids."

High school sports across New York State were halted during the second week of March.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said lower-risk sports – such as soccer, tennis, cross county track, field hockey and swimming – will be allowed, beginning Sept. 21.