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State By State Return to Play Update: New York and Pennsylvania Push Back

New York’s Reigning Class A Champions, Burnt Hills, has already lost the opportunity to defend its title. Now they wait to hear if they’ll lose the entire season.

High school volleyball is underway, but some states are still waiting to hear whether they’ll be setting up the nets and rolling out the balls this Fall. That’s why we’re running our state by state return to play update, and bringing you the latest updates from around the country. Today we have updates from seven states. You can check out the status of all 50 below.

Alabama Through Illinois
Indiana Through Montana
Nebraska Through Pennsylvania
Rhode Island Through Wyoming

Connecticut – According to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and its new Fall sports plan, Connecticut Volleyball is set to begin practices on Saturday, August 28. According to the plan, All fall sports activities will be restricted to low-risk conditioning and non-contact sport-specific skill work, in cohorts no larger than 10, through September 20. If, by October 1, all sports are in accordance with the state’s Covid metrics, competition may begin. 

Kansas – The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) approved an alternative plan for schools forced to postpone the Fall season. For volleyball, the alternate season would take place beginning March 1, with competition from March 12 to April 23. The alternate plan also stated that “if a volleyball team participates in at least matches/20 points or practices/competes beyond October 10, they are not eligible for the alternative fall season.” 

Kentucky – The Kentucky Board of Education will meet Friday, virtually, to discuss the possibility of alternate options for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s (KHSAA) Fall sports schedule. One week ago, the KHSAA voted in favor of moving forward with Fall sports, with competition set to start on September 7. However, the board of education has the power to instruct the KHSAA to delay, postpone, or cancel the season. Volleyball is considered to be one of three ‘high-contact’ sports. 

Maine – The Maine Principal’s Association (MPA) is scheduled to make an announcement later today, August 27, regarding Fall sports status. The MPA’s sports medicine committee has officially recommended that Fall sports can be played, under new safety protocol developed by the MPA sports committee, which is a positive sign of the season moving forward. If confirmed this afternoon, schools will still have the option of opting out of the season, which three schools already have. 

New Mexico – New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) executive director Sally Marquez has confirmed that the state plans to have a Fall season including championships for cross country and volleyball, with competition set to start October 10. A number of schools have already chosen not to participate in athletics this Fall. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico’s largest school district, has yet to decide whether to participate, waiting for Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham‘s newest health orders, scheduled to be announced today at a press briefing. Schools have until September 21 to confirm whether they will participate or not. 

New York – After Governor Cuomo’s decision to allow high school sports (most of them) in New York, schools are giving some pushback. Nassau County has decided to postpone the Fall sports season, with a 7-0 vote, until 2021. The New York State Council of School Superintendents also sent a letter to the governor, pleading him to reconsider the decision to allow Fall sports and requesting that all sports be postponed until January. The letter, which can be seen below, expresses concern about social distancing policies and double standards, stating, “we have struggled to reconcile why students in physical education classes must be 12 feet apart per reopening guidance, yet contact athletics and other activities that regularly bring athletes into close proximity are deemed safe at this time.” A decision regarding volleyball specifically is expected at some point today.

Pennsylvania – Despite Governor Tom Wolf‘s Recommendation of postponing Fall sports, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has voted to go forward with Fall sports. However, even after last week’s vote, school districts are continuing to postpone the Fall season, as the decision still falls into those individual districts’ hands. Milton Hershey, Harrisburg, and Reading schools, as well as the Philadelphia Public League, Inter-Academic League, and Philadelphia Catholic League, have all chosen to opt-out of the Fall sports season, delaying until 2021, citing the governor’s health concerns as the reason.  

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PrepVolleyball, and Advanced Sports Media, recommend following the guidelines of your local health officials to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please take precautions and practice social distancing whenever possible so we can get back to playing again!

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