September 28, 2022

Island PSAL schools awaiting word on guidelines for indoor fall sports

Official workouts for teams competing in fall sports in the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL)…

Official workouts for teams competing in fall sports in the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) begin later this week.

It’s the first fall season since 2019 for PSAL schools as the pandemic wiped away sports in mid-March of 2020 and the league remained closed until this past spring when 23 sports were contested in the matter of two months.

The ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 because of the delta variant spreading across the United States and infecting folks in New York City has prompted NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to issue a vaccine mandate for indoor dining and gyms for now. He could mandate it for other businesses as well.

Curtis athletic director Eric Ritzer said he hasn’t heard anything how the new guidelines will affect indoor high school sports like volleyball and swimming.

“We haven’t really gotten any guidelines yet about anything,” said Ritzer. “Fall sports start August 15, but we are waiting for guidance from the PSAL. As of now, we are starting like normal.”

With fall workouts starting this week and the season about a month away for most falls sports, Ritzer is expecting to hear something soon.

In the meantime, outdoor sports will likely go unaffected, although Ritzer hasn’t heard if spectators are likely to return to outside stadiums, something that wasn’t allowed during the spring season in the PSAL because of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, a city source told SILive.com and the Advance that the league is adhering to its intra-league mandate — issued in the spring — where PSAL teams can only play teams in the league. Teams, however, can go outside the borough to play other PSAL opponents unlike in the spring.