WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — North Country high school sports teams will now have the option to compete in Sectional competitions.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Section III Athletic Council approved Open Sectional Tournaments for team sports in the Winter 2022 sport seasons. This applies to boys and girls basketball, boys and girls volleyball and ice hockey.

According to the Council, schools will be expected to honor their initial regular-season commitments if they can field a team with less than full teams for each sport.

Schools will continue to have the choice of participating in Sectionals. The Council stated that if a school chooses not to participate, the school’s athletic director must notify the coordinator of the specific sport one week prior to the seeding meeting.

Schools may also make the decision to compete based on the number of players on each team. The Council specified when teams will be expected to play at Sectional Tournaments and when it is the school’s decision based on the low number of eligible players. This is detailed in the chart below:

Required to playSchool’s decision to play
Basketball7 or more players5 or 6 players
Volleyball8 or more players6 or 7 players
Ice Hockey13 players plus a goalie10 to 12 players

NYSPHSAA added that once the seeding and entry deadlines have passed, and if any student-athlete, coach or team is deemed ineligible due to COVID or other concerns, the tournament will proceed. No substitutions or teams will be placed into the tournament and the opponent and event will proceed without changes to the brackets or entires.

Student-athletes, coaches, or teams may be deemed ineligible by the home school district, the local health department, the NYSDOH or any other entity that has similar authority in regards to COVID-19 ineligibility.

Seeding dates are listed below:

  • Basketball: February 16, 2022
  • Girls Volleyball: February 1, 2022
  • Boys Volleyball: February 27, 2022
  • Ice Hockey: February 13, 2022

Sectional Tournaments were approved only for the Winter 2022 season.