Based on past history and projected attendance, the NYSPHSAA announced Tuesday its upcoming boys basketball championships and individual wrestling championships will be subject to a state mandate requiring attendees to show proof of full vaccination or negative test results upon entry.
The mandate applies to athletes, coaches, administrators, spectators, committee members and volunteers.
According to a New York State Department of Health mandate for large-scale indoor events, all attendees age 5 and up must show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event.
The state wrestling championships are to be contested Feb. 25-26 at MVP Arena in Albany. The state boys basketball championships are set for March 18-20 at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. The NYSPHSAA is working to establish on-site testing at both venues.
Both events are expected to draw more than 5,000 participants and spectators, which makes them subject to the DOH mandate.
The state defines fully vaccinated as having received a second mRNA vaccine shot or single Johnson & Johnson dose at least 14 days prior to the event. Proof may be submitted in paper or digital form, which includes the state’s Excelsior Pass.
Masks will be required inside both arenas.
“As the governing body for interscholastic athletics in New York state, it is important that we adhere to NYSDOH guidelines that are in place for the health and safety of participants and fans,” NYSPHSAA executive director Robert Zayas said in a statement. “A year ago, hosting state championship events was not possible. Thankfully, we now have the ability to provide participation opportunities for students under the direction of public health officials.”
Based on protocols established in September, the NYSPHSAA is honoring all conditions and restrictions to protect the public health imposed by venues contracted to host state championships.
Member schools were notified Dec. 7 that Rochester Institute of Technology is requiring NYSPHSAA Competitive Cheerleading Championship attendees over the age of 5 to prove they are fully vaccinated. There is no testing option available. Spectators at the NYSPHSAA Indoor Track State Championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex must also show proof they are fully vaccinated under a New York City Parks and Recreation mandate.
Both events are scheduled for March 5.
A state DOH update issued Jan. 10 may also impact the availability of student-athletes who have been exposed to COVID-19 in the coming weeks. Boosters are now required to be exempted from a five-day quarantine. Those who are eligible, but not boosted, will be allowed to attend school in person, but cannot participate in sports until they complete the mandated quarantine.
Mike Dougherty covers boys soccer, boys lacrosse, girls basketball and golf for The Journal News/lohud.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @hoopsmbd, @lohudlacrosse, @lohudhoopsmbd and @lohudgolf.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Proof of vaccination required to attend multiple NYSPHSAA championships