LONG ISLAND - High school fields and courts are empty across Nassau County and that’s the way they’re expected to stay for the rest of the year - this according to a committee of Section VIII officials who voted to postpone sports until at least January when they hope COVID transmission will have decreased or a treatment or vaccine is available.
“Issues around the use of locker rooms, putting kids on buses and transporting them to another district and potential cross-contamination,” said Jericho School District Superintendent Hank Grishman.
Section VIII, the governing body for Nassau County’s school sports is first of the state’s 11 sections to announce a postponement. When they do start-up in January they will play 9-week seasons.
"We’re going to run three sports seasons in January,” said Pat Pizzarelli, executive director of Section VIII Athletics. “With Winter sports January and February, Fall sports March and April and Spring sports May and June.”
Waiting until January is crucial according to officials who say the science behind COVID continues to uncover scary truths especially long term damage for kids.
Sophomore Eden Price was looking forward to playing field hockey in the Fall.
“It’s definitely unfortunate,” she said. “It’s tough news to hear. Everyone was excited especially after a long quarantine.”
But parent Jeanine Caramore whose daughter Katelyn plays fall tennis isn’t sure how realistic it is to cram three seasons into six months especially when some sports share space and coaches overlap. She wants officials to rethink their decision especially since the number of COVID cases in New York are down.
“If we look at the facts and not fear, these kids should play,” Caramore said.
Trying to play is what Section XI for Suffolk County is still considering. Officials held a meeting on Wednesday and decided to wait to make a decision until they get more guidance from the state.
“There’s a lot of concern of whether we can pull it off in a safe manner,” said Tom Combs, executive director of Section XI.
Suffolk County plans to make a decision in the coming days.