The New York State Public High School Athletic Association is moving football and other 'high-risk' sports to a spring season this year, including the Utica-Rome area.

The NYSPHSAA has pushed the start of football season back to a March 1st start over coronavirus concerns. Football is designated a 'high-risk' sport, along with volleyball and competitive cheerleading.

The revised season for football, volleyball and fall competitive cheer will be known as “Fall Sports Season II” and may officially begin practices on March 1, 2021.

As a result of this change, the start date for the spring sports season has been adjusted to April 19, 2021.  The first official practice for spring sports will now be April 19, 2021 (the original start date was March 15).

“The NYSPHSAA officers have determined it would be unrealistic to host football, volleyball and competitive cheer seasons this fall,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “This continues to be the most challenging situation educators have ever addressed.  I, along with my fellow officers, believe the participation experiences for football, volleyball and competitive cheer athletes will be more beneficial in the spring than in the fall.”

Low-risk sports, (girls tennis, cross country, girls swimming/diving, boys soccer, girls soccer, field hockey), are still eligible to begin September 21 as of this writing. Section III is voting this week to determine whether the start of the fall season will go on as planned.