High Risk Winter Sports Frequently Asked Questions

On Tuesday Feb. 16, Hudson Falls CSD moved forward with the highrisk winter sports of varsity competitive cheer, boys varsity ice hockey, and boys and girls varsity and junior varsity basketball. 

How did we make the decision to return to highrisk sports? 

The Governor made an executive decision last month to allow high risk sports but established facility and health protocols that required legal and medical review prior to Board of Education approval to participate. 

The Hudson Falls Athletic Department has been preparing for a return to high-risk sports throughout the school year. Permission and guidance was given by NYS and the NYSPHSAA, pending approval from local country departments of health, back on Jan. 22. Once the county provided a path to local school districts to restart high risk sports, the Hudson Falls CSD edited its plans and held a Board vote in less than 24 hours. This vote resulted in the approval of all medically-approved sports to resume in accordance with all COVID-19 protocols. 

Why aren’t modified sports moving forward? 

The Foothills Council made the decision to focus on high school sports due to the facility limitations, risks, and protocols that are in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Why aren’t we participating in wrestling? 

The Hudson Falls CSD has not received medical approvals for student participation in wrestling 

Guidance from the country medical advisor and district medical advisor does not support wrestling being held at this time. As a result, the District could not secure medical approval to participate in the sport. However, our district continues to explore the possibility of beginning wrestling, as we work with our health partners to chart the most safe course forward. 

What thought was given to alternatives, like playing intramurals? 

In the months of December and January, “fitness clubs” were open for middle and high school students. Currently, gyms are only available for sport team practices. 

The rules outlined by NYSPHSAA and NYSED are very restrictive and the Hudson Falls CSD, as well as Washington County, has taken a “best practice” approach to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Additionally, in an effort to keep in-person instruction going, Washington County advised against all extracurricular activities early in the school year. After much effort, Hudson Falls was able to offer a 6-12 after school fitness club. This club is now on hold as we no longer have facilities for this program due to the restart of our high risk sports. Opportunities are still being explored. 

Why are there different rules for my child’s club basketball team? Don’t they operate under the same regulations as schools? 

NYS Recreational rules that recreation leagues and clubs must adhere to protocols that are not as restrictive as the NYSPHYSAA and NYSED rules. Additionally, school districts have the added pressure of balancing the risk of losing in-person instruction. 

Where do I find more information on high-risk sports? 

Please contact the Athletics Office via phone at (518) 6814233, or via email at athletics@hfcsd.org. You can also find more information on the athletics section of our website.