Changes in store for high school sports programs

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

PENN YAN — Sports schedules at area schools will be changing beginning next year (2009-2010) in an effort to save some money in tight budgets. And in Penn Yan, there will likely be another, unrelated change. The boys varsity lacrosse team will play an independent schedule in the spring of 2010.

SCHEDULES

Tobin Tansey, Penn Yan Central School District’s athletic director, recently reported changes that are being recommended by a committee of athletic directors within the Wayne-Finger Lakes Leagues.

The process began in November following an announcement from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association that it would be making broad changes to reduce costs.

Tansey said the recommendations so far call for a reduction in the number of contests in all sports teams that now play more than 20 contests per year will be cut back to 20 events per season.

Those with 20 contests will be cut to 18. Sports with 18 events will be cut to 16 and all modified teams will participate in two less events.

He said those changes will translate to the baseball teams playing 18 games rather than 20 and the lacrosse teams playing 16 games. Every varsity sport will be reduced by at least one or two events, he said, explaining the changes will result in lower costs for transportation, officials, scoring and other support staff.

Modified programs will be reduced to one modified team per sport. For example, there will be one modified boys basketball team and one modified girls basketball team.

Those teams will compete during the same season and will ride the same buses to away games. Under the current modified program, some sports, such as basketball, have two teams for boys and two teams for girls.

Other recommendations from the state include reducing football seasons to nine games and wrestling to 20 points. Sectional tournaments would change to closed tournaments rather than the open tournaments played in some sports, such as basketball.

Tansey said the changes will be instituted during the 2009-2010 season.

LACROSSE

Tansey told the board of education he and Varsity Lacrosse Coach Brian Hobart have discussed changes in the Finger Lakes League that have led to a situation where most of Penn Yan’s games aren’t fair.

Victor is now playing in the Monroe County League and now Canandaigua will be as well. That leaves Geneva as the only team in the Finger Lakes League that has seriously challenged Penn Yan. In the past 10 years, only one team from the Finger Lakes League —Geneva — has beaten Penn Yan twice. And looking back through the seasons to 1996, Penn Yan has only lost three games to league competitors.

If the Mustangs, who have been Section V Champions for many years, compete independently, they’ll still be able to play Geneva, Fairport, Canandaigua and other challenging teams while still competing in Section V tournaments.

Tansey said this change won’t take place until the spring of 2010.  (See related story by?Gary Pinneo.)