CLIFTON PARK (WRGB) — Masks were optional during the fall season as most high school sports were played outside, but that won't be the case this winter.
New York State Public High School Athletic Association officials say they're following the NYS Department of Health's COVID-19 guidelines which state masks are to be worn indoors including at schools.
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Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSHPAA Executive Director says the Department of Health has no capacity limits when it comes to indoor events, and it will be up to individual school districts to decide if they'll allow spectators during this season.
At the Shenendehowa Central School District they allowed two people per athlete to attend games last year; this year the athletic director says they will be increasing capacity limits and adjust if necessary.
NYSPHAA officials add they won't be handing out any penalties for athletes or spectators who don't follow the mandates.
"There's no prescribed penalty from the New York State High School Athletic Association for non-compliance of a state department of health directive, "said Zayas. "But it is our hope that everybody understands that students benefit when they play high school sports."
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However, that won't be the case if you attend a game at Shenendehowa Schools,
"We will give warnings out to people that are just flagrant violators of it." said Chris Culnan, Shenendehowa Athletic Director. "We hope people are compliant we want to operate from the perspective that we're not asking for something completely unreasonable."
As of right now, traditional winter sports are set to play this winter unlike last year, some sports were played in a different time of year. For example, football and volleyball played in the spring compared to the fall.