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High risk winter sports remain on hold across the state

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(WBNG) -- Across New York, athletes who compete in high risk winter sports are patiently waiting to see if they'll have a season.

In September, the Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC), Interscholastic Athletic Conference (IAC), and Midstate Athletic Conference (MAC) pushed all sports to 2021. 

Then last month, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association postponed the start date for high-risk sports, moving it to January 4, 2021.

Further guidance has yet to come from Governor Andrew Cuomo's office.

Johnson City athletic director Jeff Paske said there hasn't been a discussion about what would happen if the date is pushed back again.

"Unfortunately we might lose it if they push it back even farther because we'll fall into fall sports and spring sports," he said.

In the meantime, basketball, wrestling and cheer teams are practicing under limited circumstances.

"They can't play five-on-five or anything like that, but they can get their conditioning in and skill work in," said Paske.

Low and moderate risk sports, including bowling and swim are cleared to begin next month.

"We did get schedules through our league yesterday so those seem ready to go and should be no issues that we see because of the precautions we've put in place," said Paske.

Paske said there have been some ideas floating around when it comes to additional safety measures.

"Possibly if we can't meet in person, then maybe we'll have a virtual meet of some sort where maybe we'll swim in our pool, they'll swim in their pool, and compare times and come up with it to honor the social distancing criteria," he said.

Paske said he doesn't know when guidance is expected to come, but they'll continue to adapt.

"We'll wait as long as possible until they let us go," he said. "We're willing to do anything it takes for our student-athletes to have a season."

As for high school sports in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is moving forward with winter sports.

That decision came after the Pennsylvania Principals Association encouraged the PIAA to delay the start of competition, which is set to begin Friday.

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Nicole Menner

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