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South Glens Falls/Foothills Council fall sports update

September 16, 2020

SGF Bulldogs LogoThe New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), Section 2 and the Foothills Council have been working tirelessly to put together a fall season that has the health and safety of our student athletes and coaches as a top priority. 

The Foothills Council schools released a joint press statement earlier today outlining the Fall Sports Season 1. The information below includes that information as well as specific programming details for South Glens Falls athletics. 

Unfortunately, not all sports and levels could be offered due to a number of reasons pertaining to COVID-19 as it applies to bussing, cleaning and disinfecting, and challenges navigating the guidelines from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and New York State Education Department (NYSED) health and safety protocols.

“We know how important athletics are to many of our students,” said Athletics Director Matt Griep. “Our goal is to provide the best scenarios for a full season for all student athletes.”

“As a district our number one priority is safety for our staff and students,” said Superintendent of Schools Kristine Orr. “The decision of the Foothills Council and our district is focused on that and the responsibility for ensuring a safe playing environment.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, NYSPHSAA announced that high-risk sports, which include football, boys and girls volleyball and competitive cheer, would be postponed at all levels until March 1, 2021.

Below is the status of fall sports activities for the upcoming 2020-21 school year that has been established by the Foothills Council. 

Sports offered beginning Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 (Fall Sports Season 1)

  • Girls & Boys Varsity Cross Country
  • Boys Varsity Golf
  • Girls Varsity Tennis

Sports postponed until  March 1, 2021 (Fall Sports Season 2)

  • Cheer – Varsity & JV
  • Field Hockey – Varsity, JV, Modified 7/8 
  • Football – Varsity, JV, Modified 7/8
  • Boys & Girls Soccer – Varsity, JV, Modified 7/8
  • Girls Swimming & Diving – Varsity
  • Girls Volleyball – Varsity, JV, Modified 7/8

Academic Program

Whether you attend school full time, hybrid (two days per week in school), or fully remote, you are eligible to play sports this fall.

Timeline for Sports Registrations

It is essential that you register on FamilyID and complete the health history form as soon as possible! Registration for the “Fall Sports Season 1” will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m. Registration can be done online through FamilyID on the district’s athletics website. Student athletes cannot participate on Monday, Sept. 21, if they have not been cleared by the district’s health office. 

Athletic Placement Process

No new APP testing will take place this fall for current seventh- or eighth-grade athletes. 

Transportation

Athletes who are learning virtually must provide their own transportation to school for practices. All athletes will need to be picked up after practice as we have no late buses at this time. 

Travel to contests will be on a bus and there will only be one student per seat as outlined in each district’s reopening protocols.  Due to this transportation requirement, the fall sports being offered will only be available at the varsity level.

Health and Safety Protocols

A number of modifications will be made to the season to ensure the safest environment for all participants in the Foothills Council.

  • Masks/face coverings that cover both the mouth and nose are to be worn at all times by all participants and personnel unless stated otherwise in the sport specific guidance issued below. This applies to coaches, athletes, referees, clock operators, scorekeepers, security/game/course managers, administrators and other personnel deemed essential.
    • All athletes must wear a mask during all athletic contests unless it is determined to be a medical necessity that the athlete cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition recognized as a disability pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act. In such an event, the athlete must submit a written request to their school’s Athletic Director. A determination will be made in consultation with the school’s physician and the school’s attorney as to how to proceed. If approved by the school, the request will then be forwarded to the Foothills Council President with the written medical documentation to support the request to not wear a mask during the athletic contest due to the athlete’s medical condition. The Foothills Council will then determine, after an interactive process, whether there can be a reasonable accommodation made for that athlete. Such request and determination must be made prior to the athletic contest involved.
  • Each student will be responsible for their own supplies and distancing bags. These include:
    • Water bottles and water supply
    • Multiple mouth guards and personal protective equipment
    • Clothing and towels
  • When not engaged in warm ups or game play, student athletes will remain a minimum of six feet socially distant.
  • Coaches will remain six feet socially distant unless demonstrating a skill/play execution.
  • No handshakes, first bumps, or unnecessary physical contact before, during and after contests.
  • Coaches and game day personnel will clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and equipment including balls. (See specific sports for details.)
  • Student athletes will use hand sanitizer before, during, and after competitions.

Additional and specific protocols will be shared with student athletes based on their sport. 

Spectators

In order to follow our reopening procedures and to contain the number of people at any one event, no spectators will be allowed at any home or away meets/matches this fall. 

Please know that we have worked, and will continue to work, to keep our student athletes, coaches and officials safe while providing the best possible athletic experience this fall. 

Shutdown Plan

  • If school is closed for in-person education during the school year due to an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, school-sponsored sports must be suspended until in-person education is resumed.
  • If one of our student athletes develops symptoms, they must immediately stay home and contact their doctor. They will not be allowed to return without a negative COVID test.
  • If one of our student athletes tests positive for COVID, in an abundance of caution the team and coaches will be placed on quarantine for 14 days. The future of the season will be based on the time this occurs and how much is left of the season. 

Please contact SGFCSD Athletic Director Matt Griep at griepm@sgfcsd.org.

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