Cuomo To Allow Youth XC on July 6th - Does Not Apply To HS

The State is beginning to reopen, as Upstate is a week into Phase 3, while downstate is mid-Phase 2 of the NY Forward Reopening Plan. Many Coaches and athletes, who have lost their Spring Season to the shutdown, are awaiting the signal for a return to normalcy, in which they can begin their buildup to a Cross Country Season in the Fall.

On Friday, the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force met to discuss concerns and options for the upcoming season. The Task Force is comprised of school district superintendents, high school principals, athletic directors, NYSPHSAA officers, as well as a representative from the New York State Athletic Administrators Association, an athletic trainer, a district transportation director, and members of New York State Education Department and New York State Department of Health. You can find a full recap of the meeting here.

Alongside that meeting, an updated FAQ was released on the NYSPHSAA website, along with Summer Guidance for Schools seeking a return to play. There it laid out three specific criteria, in line with a standardized NFHS Guidance protocol.

On Sunday, however, there was some confusion. In Governor Cuomo's daily Coronavirus briefings, he mentioned that certain low-risk sports would begin to restart. These six would join Tennis, which is currently the only sport approved across New York State. This seemed to be in direct contradiction to the guidelines released on Friday.

Following up shortly after, NYSPHSAA clarified that guidance to the public. In short, Cuomo's release was referencing Youth Sports Leagues, such as Little League or recreational 5K's, and not Interscholastic Activities. Youth Cross Country would be events like USATF Club Practices, AAU practices, or other. NYSPHSAA has been clear in that Interscholastic High School practice will be unable to resume if the respective High School campuses are not themselves reopened.

You can find NYSPHSAA's full Summer Practice Guidelines at the below address

Summer Guidance for Schools