BUFFALO – Health Department leaders in the five Western New York counties that comprise the High School Sport Section VI region – including Chautauqua County – are recommending schools and leagues cancel, or at least postpone, their wrestling programs for this year.
The recommendation came one day after most county health departments in Western New York gave approval for other high-risk winter sports to continue.
Department officials noted wrestling involves participants sparring in very close physical proximity for extended periods of time, which significantly increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Health officials also cite a recent study that focused on a large COVID outbreak associated with a wrestling tournament in December. As an alternative, Department officials said local programs should consider promoting individual training and distanced group exercises.
The final call is with Section VI officials, who could decide to wait until next fall to hold the wrestling season.