CYO New York is planning to begin its basketball season Feb. 5, and the start date may change, if needed, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’ve learned we’ve had to adjust throughout this whole thing, and that’s kind of the way we’ve been living,” CYO New York director Seth Peloso told CNY. “We’re planning for February 5, and we’ll adjust accordingly if we have to. Our goal is to start February 5.
“Some programs told me they’re not going to be ready February 5. That’s OK. We’re flexible, and we’re going to work with them to get them some games when they’re ready.”
The basketball season, which normally starts in December, was delayed due to the pandemic. It must be completed by April 9, with county championships, if CYO county officials choose to have a county tournament. An archdiocesan championship tournament will not be held this year.
“The one thing we’ve tried to tell everyone is any concept you’ve had or any season you’ve had in the past of what it’s like, you can throw that out,” Peloso said. “This year is going to be a lot different and you have to go in with that mindset, that things are going to be different this year. People are understanding. They’ve been anticipating trying to get kids back on the court when they can.”
CYO New York has released a list of 22 guidelines and protocols to regional and parish coordinators. Masks will be worn by players on and off the court. Only
athletes, coaches, medical personnel/athletic trainers, officials and the two parents of each player are permitted to attend games and practices, and all are required to meet the requirements before entering the gymnasium of the CYO daily health self-screening checklist, which includes not having any symptoms of Covid-19.
CYO programs in New York City must be in compliance with New York City’s vaccine mandate.
“In order to make this a successful program, we need everyone to make sure they’re doing the right thing,” Peloso said. “I know parents really want this for the children. I know they’re going to be doing the right thing to make this happen.”
Joe McGrane, the CYO boys basketball commissioner in Rockland County and longtime boys basketball coach at Xavier High School in Manhattan, is hopeful there will be CYO basketball and said the basketball court is an extension of the classroom for athletes.
“Everybody wants to play,” he said. “They’re playing anyway. They’re playing a lot of travel and AAU (basketball). Parents are finding ways to keep their kids active, not just for their physical health but for their social health and mental health.”
Peloso said CYO New York is still in the planning phases for cheerleading, a winter indoor competition, and for spring sports such as track and field, baseball, softball, golf and a spring basketball league.
“We’re looking forward to a great spring,” Peloso said.
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