The Foothills Council will offer three of the state’s designated low- and moderate-risk winter sports when practice begins on Dec. 14.
League president Steve Nolan, the athletic director at Amsterdam, said Foothills ADs met Tuesday to start to put protocols together to hold interscholastic competition in boys swimming, bowling and skiing.
Nolan said the swimming and bowling competitions would be done virtually, while Nordic and Alpine skiing are not technically league sports, as Section II handles the scheduling for meets.
“We’ll be competing in our own pools and bowling at our own houses, and reporting the scores to our league secretary,” Nolan said of the virtual meets. “We may reach out to other leagues if we’re doing virtual meets.”
Section II on Friday had announced that low- and moderate-risk sports — also including gymnastics and indoor track — could begin practice on Dec. 14. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association had set a Nov. 30 date for the start of those sports, which was approved by the state.
The state has not yet authorized the start of high-risk winter sports — basketball, wrestling, ice hockey and competitive cheer — and NYSPHSAA on Tuesday pushed back the target date to start those sports to Jan. 4.
Nolan said most of the Foothills Council’s 10 member schools were conducting non-sport-specific “return-to-competition” conditioning workouts for student-athletes who had not been involved in fall sports.
The Foothills Council does not compete in gymnastics, and indoor track will not be held this season because there are no venues available. Most Section II indoor track meets are held at local colleges, like Hudson Valley Community College, the University at Albany and RPI.
With colleges moving to remote learning amid a rise in coronavirus cases, those venues are currently unavailable, Nolan said.
Nolan said the Foothills Council would likely continue the protocols from its limited fall season: no spectators, a limit on roster sizes and “being creative with our scheduling.”
Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity.