As you are aware, New York State’s Re-opening Guidance for Sports and
Recreation activities categorizes sports/activities as lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk. On January 22, 2021 Governor Cuomo announced that sports categorized as high risk sports (including wrestling, basketball, competitive cheer, etc.) will be permitted as of February 1, 2021 as permitted by the local health department.
On January 29, 2021 the Orange County Department of Health (OC DOH) issued its guidance on high risk school sports in Orange County. As part of the guidance school districts are required to do at a minimum the following:
Provide Consent, either by the Board of Education or the Superintendent for specific sports and grades to play;
Medical clearances for student athletes;
Informed, written consent to an Orange County Code of Conduct approved by the Superintendent or Board of Education;
Retention of the informed consent to be shared with OC DOH and or any other County the team participates, subject to request;
Acknowledgement that high risk sports may be suspended if the local 7-day percent positivity rolling average exceeds the State average.
Compliance with the current NYS Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation available at
Compliance with American Academy of Pediatrics guidance relative to the wearing of face coverings. See: https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-interim-guidance-return-to-sports/
(as amended from time to time).
Compliance with Best Practices as outlined in the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal Association (NYMIR) High Risk Sport Protocols for Counties.
As Superintendent of the Valley Central School District, I have reviewed the
guidance and the District has created District guidelines/protocols and sport
specific guidelines/protocols which meet the criteria outlined by the Orange County Department of Health.
Accordingly, as of February 1, 2021, in my role as Superintendent I permit the
Valley Central School District to participate in the following high risk sports at the interscholastic level and for students in the following grades:
Sport Levels of Competition: Grades
Girls Basketball Varsity, JV, Modified: 7-12
Boys Basketball Varsity, JV, Modified: 7-12
Wrestling Varsity, JV, Modified: 7-12
Competitive Cheerleading Varsity, JV: 9-12
Please be aware that students and the parents of students participating in interscholastic athletics for Valley Central teams will be required to complete an Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk form for the District.
The safety of District students and employees is of utmost importance. If I deem that there is a change in the COVID-19 status or the ability of all involved in higher risk sports to comply with the protocols, I reserve the right to place a team or specific teams or the entire athletic department on pause or to cancel the winter sport season for high risk sports.