Student athletes won't take the field this fall, with the city education department announcing Thursday that the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) season is being delayed indefinitely.

What You Need To Know

  • The start of the PSAL season is delayed until further notice

  • The move comes as state health department guidance doesn’t allow for interscholastic sports due to the pandemic

  • When sports do return, many will require modifications to be played safely

The delay applies to all PSAL sports, from cross country track to wrestling, and comes as New York City grapples with how to keep students and staff safe when schools partially reopen next month.

State health guidelines still do not permit interscholastic sports, and the statewide league for schools outside previously delayed its start by about a month.

When interscholastic sports do return to schools, they will require modifications. The city has divided sports into three levels of risk. Some, like bowling or golf, can be resume with few changes, like social distancing and cleaning equipment between uses.

But close-contact sports with few barriers between players — such as football or wrestling — would require much more significant modifications.

The education department says it will try to find ways to fill the void PSAL sports will leave at many schools.

"Interscholastic sports have a tremendous impact on school culture and the promotion of both physical and mental health, and the DOE is working with our physical education instructors, social workers, and guidance counselors to meet those needs in a safe way until PSAL can resume," spokesman Nathaniel Styer says.


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Main story image: Mary Altaffer/AP.


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