State athletic association holds executive committee meeting in Saratoga

LATHAM — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association held its quarterly meeting of the Executive Committee on Wednesday at the Embassy Suites in Saratoga Springs. The Committee voted on several key proposals important to the Association’s 787-member schools.

One of the major highlights of the meeting was the Executive Committee approving changing the designation of boys and girls tennis from an individual sport to a team sport beginning in the fall of 2021 (girls) and spring of 2022 (boys). The change in designation results in both boys and girls tennis allowing for NYSPHSAA to conduct its first team championship in one division in addition to the current individual championships.

The committee also approved the use of the NCAA rule allowing two liberos in the sport of boys volleyball. The sport of wrestling was granted approval to implement a two-year pilot program to change the current at-large procedure for the NYSPHSAA Championship, effective for the 2020-21 season.

The sport of cheerleading had three proposals approved by the committee.

First, cheerleading will permanently adopt the pilot program, which began in 2018, to establish a structure, training and scoring format. Additionally, modifications were approved to the scoring areas of the state scoresheet. The third proposal that was approved was game day regional cheer competition beginning in the fall of 2021, which will be scheduled for week 17 on the NYSPHSAA calendar.

Pertaining to State Championships, the LECOM Harborcenter was approved as the site for the Boys Ice Hockey Championships for 2022-2024. Also, all fall 2020 regional and state tournament rotations have been approved to advance to 2021 for all fall sports which includes girls tennis (at large rotations used to fill byes). All fall 2020 state championship venues had their bids extended for one year due to the cancellation of these state championships this year.

During the discussion of Sectional Concerns, Section I was approved by the Executive Committee to move from a discussion item to an action item.

Section I proposed, with section approval, starting the Fall Sports II season on February 22, 2021 (one week earlier than the approved March 1, 2021 start date). That proposal was defeated with President Julie Bergman voting in opposition to break a 10-10 tie (2 abstentions). 

The meeting was called to order by President Julie Bergman at 9 a.m. and concluded at 11:46 a.m. The next meeting of the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee will be Feb. 3 in Saratoga Springs.

By Paul Wager