By Kathy Kahn
“Let Them Play” has been the rallying cry across New York for many months as students, parents, teachers and school administrators continue to grapple with ever-changing rules and executive orders that put the brakes on almost every sport played.
Back on Jan 13, Assemblymen Colin Schmitt and newly elected Assemblyman Mike Lawler held a press conference announcing legislation to allow local jurisdictions to call the shots on reopening their sports programs, the two Republican representatives asking their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the endeavor. Ten days later, Cuomo announced that “high-risk” sports can resume on Feb 1, once they are cleared by local health department officials. Health departments must take into consideration local illness rates and the individual school district’s ability to adhere to health and safety protocols.
That’s great news for students, parents and coaches, who have been sidelined for months by Covid-19. At Schmitt’s press conference, Spring Valley High School coach Andrew Delvo, said it was extremely difficult to keep up morale among the student athletes, particularly those in their Senior year.
The NYS Health Department issued guidelines on Friday, January 22 on both individual and distanced group training and organized no/low-contact group training. Tournaments and other games will be allowed if the local health authorities permit.