LATHAM, NY- The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has announced it will be subject to the New York State Department of Health guidance for large-scale indoor events for two of its state tournaments—the Wrestling Individual Championships and the Boys Basketball Championships—in which all attendees ages 5 and older will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative test upon entry into the venue. In accordance with NYSDOH, the guidance is “in effect for large-scale indoor events of 5,000 attendees or greater.”
Annually, NYSPHSAA sees over 5,000 spectators, coaches, athletes, volunteers, committee members and staff attend the Wrestling Individual Championships and the Boys Basketball Championships each day they are held. The Association anticipates easily exceeding 5,000 attendees each day of each event again this year and therefore will be subject to the guidance.
Per NYSDOH guidance, all attendees ages five and older (including coaches and athletes) at the Wrestling Championships, held on February 25-26 at MVP Arena in Albany, and the Boys Basketball Championships, held on March 18-20 at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, will be required to show proof of full vaccination at the turnstiles of each venue or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event. NYSPHSAA is working with both venues in an effort to offer on-site testing and additional details will be made available when finalized.
According to NYSDOH guidelines, full vaccination is defined as having received the second mRNA vaccine shot (or single Johnson & Johnson dose) at least 14 days prior to the start of each tournament. Proof must be provided in paper form, digitally, or by presenting the State’s Excelsior Pass. In accordance with the September 2nd NYSDOH guidance related to scholastic events, masks are required to be worn at all times when inside either venue.
“As the governing body for interscholastic athletics in New York state, it is important that we adhere to NYSDOH guidelines that are in place for the health and safety of participants and fans,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “A year ago, hosting state championship events was not possible. Thankfully, we now have the ability to provide participation opportunities for students under the direction of public health officials.”
On December 7th, NYSPHSAA notified its membership it would adhere to vaccination requirements set forth by Rochester Institute of Technology which is hosting the NYSPHSAA Competitive Cheerleading Championships on March 5th. All attendees of this event, ages five and older, will be required to show proof of full vaccination upon entry into the venue. The University policy was set forth for events with 400 or more attendees and does not allow for proof of negative test.
Additionally, New York City Parks and Recreation is requiring spectators, ages five and older, to show proof of full vaccination if they plan to attend the NYSPHSAA Indoor Track State Championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on March 5th.
On September 9th, NYSPHSAA adopted a Championship Protocol policy which states it will “honor and abide by all terms, conditions and restrictions imposed by the scheduled and contracted venue for matters impacting and protecting public health.”
NYSDOH guidelines are subject to change. The most up-to-date guidance can be found on each championship landing page on www.nysphsaa.org.
About NYSPHSAA (Twitter: @NYSPHSAA | Facebook: NYSPHSAA | YouTube: NYSPHSAASports): The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. The organization conducts 32 championship events and governs the rules and regulations of high school athletics in New York State. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for boys and girls in grades 7-12.