National Guidelines Team States Trouble For Football

Those were the sports identified by the National Federation of State High School Associations as being the most at risk to contract the coronavirus in a 16-page document outlining guidelines for states for a safe return of high school sports in the midst of the pandemic.

The Federation is the national governing body for state associations, including the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, which almost always follows what the National Federation suggests.

But the guidelines, which include ranking sports by risk factor and introducing a series of three phases before a sport can fully return, are leaving some coaches, players and fans with a burning question.

Football, along with wrestling in the winter, boys lacrosse in the spring, as well as cheerleading and dance, are all considered ‘Higher Risk Sports’ according to the document, which cited the obvious – the close contact, the likelihood of droplets being transferred from one person to another, and the inability to socially distance during play.

And the guidelines for the so-called ‘Higher Risk Sports’ are, well Are you familiar with the phrase ‘jumping through hoops?’

“I read the report. It’s a lot to process,” Haldane football coach Ryan McConville said. “Speaking optimistically, I think we’re in the early stages until we get a grip on it. We have to wait until the Mid-Hudson Valley is OK’d by the governor (to reopen for business).”

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