COVID-19 updates for fall sports

Albany High offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage.

As the City School District of Albany continues to follow evolving guidance and recommendations regarding COVID-19 protocols for the start of the 2021-22 school year, we are updating our requirements for student-athletes interested in playing a fall sport. 

This updated guidance includes vaccination requirements for low-, moderate- and high-risk sports, as well as electrocardiogram (EKG) requirements for students who have previously tested positive for COVID-19. These requirements are in addition to physicals for student-athletes, which are mandatory before they can begin tryouts or practices.

Tryouts and preseason practices for Albany High fall sports begin Aug. 23, and for modified fall sports (grades 7-8) on Aug. 30. The district is offering fall sports physicals Aug. 31 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Albany High School's Abrookin Career and Technical Center, located at 99 Kent St.

Visit our fall sports information section for updates and schedules. 

Vaccination requirements for high-risk fall sports

The Albany County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Education recommend that high-risk sports should be virtual or cancelled in areas of high community transmission unless all participants are fully vaccinated. This recommendation is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

The New York State Department of Health has identified the following fall sports as high-risk:

  • Cheerleading
  • Football
  • Volleyball 

All district student-athletes in grades 7-12 must be fully vaccinated to participate in a high-risk fall sport. Student-athletes in high-risk fall sports also must be fully vaccinated to receive a physical from the district. 

  • Please note that to be considered fully vaccinated an individual must be at least two weeks beyond their final COVID-19 dose. 

Vaccination requirements for low- and moderate-risk sports

Student-athletes interested in participating in low- or moderate-risk fall sports must show proof of vaccination or consent to regular COVID-19 testing throughout the season. The district strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for all individuals age 12 and older. 

The New York State Department of Health has identified the following fall sports as low- or moderate--risk:

  • Cross country
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis

EKG requirements

Any student-athlete who has tested positive for COVID-19 at any point in the past must have proof of a normal electrocardiogram (EKG) to be cleared to participate in a fall sport. The EKG can have been performed at any time after the student-athlete recovered from COVID-19. 

Proof of a normal EKG also is required to be able to have a district physical for all student-athletes who previously have tested positive for COVID-19. The district can assist families with arranging an EKG if necessary.