All High School Sports Delayed Until January, Section XI Announces

Section XI announced on Friday that all school sports will be delayed until January. EXPRESS FILE

All high school sports have been delayed until January 4, 2021, officials from Section XI, the governing body of Suffolk County high school athletics, announced on Friday.

“This was a difficult decision to make, however, the first and foremost importance is to have a safe and healthy learning environment for our students,” the announcement reads. “We are hopeful that with time, our athletes will have an opportunity to compete safely in our schools and on our fields.”

“This difficult decision was one that was deliberated at length and with the best interest of all the student athletes, coaches and officials of Suffolk County in mind,” it continues.

The reasons for the decision were cited as the potential for increased positive cases of COVID-19, the health and safety of student athletes, coaches officials and staff members, a reduced number of spectators, a lack of locker room and facility use, increased costs in transportation and security for school districts and equity among all school districts.

The section’s Athletic Council voted unanimously this week to postpone the fall season and condense all three seasons — fall, winter and spring — from January to June, according to the statement. Three complete seasons will be run for varsity, junior varsity and modified levels, the announcement stated. The seasons will allow all teams to play an “adapted season with a culminating championship event.”

For varsity and JV sports, the seasons will run as follows: Season 1 (winter) from January 4 to February 27; Season 2 (fall) from March 1 to May 1; and Season 3 (spring) from April 26 to June 19. For modified sports, four seasons will be run: Season 1 (winter) from January 4 to February 6; Season 2 (late winter) from February 8 to March 20; Season 3 (fall) from March 22 to May 8; and Season 4 (spring) from May 10 to June 12.