Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL)

Overview

Established in 1903, the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) is the longest running scholastic athletic program in the country.

The mission of the PSAL is to provide opportunities for educating students in physical fitness, character development and socialization skills through an athletic program that fosters discipline and sportsmanship across our 25 varsity sports.

Since its inception, PSAL has provided opportunities for over one million New York City students.

Sports Offered

  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country
  • Double Dutch
  • Fencing
  • Flag Football
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Indoor Track
  • Lacrosse
  • Outdoor Track
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Stunt
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

For additional information or questions, please email PSAL@schools.nyc.gov or contact your program Athletic Director. 

Consent Forms

All students participating in PSAL must submit the following forms:

  1. Pre-Participation Sports Physical Examination Form – Form date cannot be more than 12 months old at time of participation; and,
  2. Parental Consent Form

About Us

Established in 1903, the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) is the longest running scholastic athletic program in the country.

The mission of the PSAL is to provide opportunities for educating students in physical fitness, character development and socialization skills through an athletic program that fosters discipline and sportsmanship across our 25 varsity sports.

Since its inception, PSAL has provided opportunities for over one million New York City students.

Who We Serve

High School AthleticsAnnual Numbers
Sports Offered25
Student Athletes46,000+
Total teams3,200+
Athletic Programs (some shared by multiple schools)274
Total Schools Participating (across all Athletic Programs)530
Competitions Played~16,000

For additional information, concerns or questions, please email PSAL@schools.nyc.gov or contact your program Athletic Director.

Public Schools Athletic League 2022-2023

Competitions Against Non-PSAL Teams (Updated September 20, 2022)

COVID-19 Vaccinations 

As announced September 20, 2022, students are no longer required to be fully vaccinated to participate in high-risk sports.

While the mandate has been lifted, vaccines remain the leading public health prevention strategy to reduce the risk of severe infection. Athletes are still encouraged to get vaccinated (including booster does) before participation.

Competitions and Non-League Opponents

PSAL teams may now compete against non-PSAL teams. The following conditions will apply:

  • PSAL teams will still be required to follow all PSAL health and safety guidelines during participation.
  • All contests requiring travel must adhere to all related NYCDOE travel and field trip policies . Please note that as of January 27, 2022 overnight trips are permitted for students who are fully vaccinated. Please note that all field trips are subject to supervisory approval.

This policy will continue to be reviewed in collaboration with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as transmission rates throughout the city continue to change.  

General COVID Prevention Strategies

Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are at low risk of severe infection. Currently, people 12 years and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. 

The following actions should be followed by all PSAL participants in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 severe illness in PSAL participants. These actions include:

  • Getting vaccinated (including booster doses) against COVID-19;
  • Wearing a facial covering whenever possible
  • Staying home when feeling sick;
  • Frequent hand hygiene; and,
  • Maintaining physical distancing between players and coaches, wherever possible.

General PSAL Health Guidance (Applies to All Sports)

  • Every effort should be made to hold activities outdoors.
  • In the event of a school closure all PSAL activities will be postponed or cancelled for the duration of the closure.
  • Limiting non-essential contact will help reduce transmission risk
  • Officials are not responsible for monitoring activities on the sidelines, such as hand washing, symptoms of illnesses and other such issues. This monitoring obligation remains with the coaching staff and school personnel.
  • Equipment sharing should continue to be limited as much as possible.
  • Locker room use will be permitted for all sports.

Hydration Plan

Coolers and use of water fountains will be permitted. Students should refrain from sharing water bottles. Students will be responsible for bringing and labeling their preferred hydration fluid to PSAL activities. It is recommended that all athletes bring at least 16 oz of water to each PSAL activity. PSAL participants must be allowed to hydrate themselves liberally throughout the activity. Coaches should take care to have at least one five-minute water break for every 30 minutes of activity.

Hand Hygiene

Coaches and Athletic Directors are responsible for ensuring that all participants wash or sanitize their hands before and after every PSAL activity. Washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water is preferred. When soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used. Schools will be responsible for ensuring that all PSAL participants have access to hand hygiene supplies. 

Equipment Rules/ Equipment Cleaning and Disinfection

Items that should never be shared between PSAL participants:

  • Water bottles, towels, uniforms, clothing, shoes, headgear, mouthguards, personal protective gear (gloves, braces, grips, baseball gloves, etc.)

Items that may be shared during a session but must be properly cleaned and disinfected between use by each participant:

  • Bats, racquets, sticks, fencing epees and foils, weightlifting equipment (barbells, weight bars, weight benches, etc.), Conditioning equipment (medicine balls, yoga mats, etc.), Sleds, tackling pads/dummies, individual equipment (poles for pole vaulting, shot put, discus, etc.), golf clubs, helmets, shoulder pads, chests protectors, catcher's gear

Items that may be shared during a session but must be properly cleaned and disinfected at the conclusion of the session:

  • Training mats, balls, shuttles, gymnastics equipment, fencing body cords, table tennis tables, double dutch ropes, etc.

Cleaning supplies will be provided by the school. Whenever possible, additional cleaning and disinfecting should occur and coaches should take steps to minimize the sharing of equipment to individuals or small cohorts between cleanings.

Spectator Policy

Schools should adhere to the current DOE policy on visitors when hosting spectators at PSAL competitions and tournaments taking place indoors.

Food/Eating During Activities

Whenever possible, consumption of any foods and snacks should take place before entering the venue of the activity. 

When consumption before the activity is not possible, participants who are eating must:

  • Sanitize their hands before and after eating
  • Remain physically distanced by at least six feet for the duration of their meal
  • Eat alone or with a small, physically distanced cohort, ensuring individuals are facing one direction and not each other.

Athletes are responsible for bringing their own hydration fluids to the activity (see above for Hydration Plan).

Transportation

All efforts should be made to limit or reduce travel to only that which is absolutely necessary associated with participating in PSAL activity.

Schools utilizing school buses must adhere to all DOE busing policies, regardless of COVID-19 vaccine status. Teams traveling by public transportation must adhere to the MTA rules of travel.

COVID-19 Symptoms and Cases

Staying Home When Sick

All PSAL participants need to take care to refrain from attending PSAL activities when feeling unwell. All participants have a responsibility to monitor themselves for COVID-like illness symptoms and to report positive COVID cases to their school.

Development of COVID-like Symptoms During PSAL Events

COVID-like illness symptoms are defined as any or all of the following symptoms that are new and unexplained by pre-existing conditions such as asthma or allergies:

  • Fever of 100.0 degrees F or higher or chills,
  • New cough,
  • New loss of taste or smell, and/or
  • New shortness of breath.
  • Sore throat

In the event that a student or adult develops COVID-like illness symptoms during a PSAL activity, play should be suspended immediately so that the situation may be assessed. 

If the symptomatic individual is a student, they must be removed and isolated immediately. Play may resume if it is safe to do so and proper supervision can be provided to the rest of the team while the coach or Athletic Director is tending to the symptomatic student. Coaches and Athletic Directors should follow their first aid and CPR training to call 911 and activate their Emergency Action Plan for any student in distress. If the student is not in distress, the Athletic Director will be responsible for contacting the parent/guardian to provide instructions on testing and/or isolation rules as well as creating a plan for the student’s safe transportation home. In addition, the Athletic Director will be responsible for contacting the principal and nurse at their school to alert them of a case of COVID-like illness requiring follow-up.

Any participating adult who develops symptoms must immediately remove themselves from the activity. The coach will be responsible for contacting the Athletic Director or other school designee to record the removal of the person for COVID-like illness symptoms.

If the symptomatic individual is an adult that would need to be present at the event for supervision or officiating such as a coach or official, the event will be suspended for the day and all participants should go home. Where possible, suspended contests will be resumed or replayed at a later date.

The Athletic Director will be responsible for coordinating with their Principal(s) to ensure that all school-based reporting protocols are followed. 

Any individual (student or staff member) showing signs of COVID-19 can only return to PSAL activities after meeting the conditions of the COVID-19 School Health Policy

COVID Case Reporting and Contact Tracing Procedures

All participants (player, coach, manager, official, athletic trainer, etc.) of PSAL activities will be required to immediately notify the Athletic Director of any positive COVID-19 diagnosis. The Principal or designee as appointed by school leadership will be responsible for following the DOE Situation Room policy to report all positive COVID-19 cases.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must be placed on the inactive roster until their isolation period has concluded and they may return to school per the COVID-19 School Health Policy.

Quarantine, Isolation, and Return to PSAL

In the event that a classroom or cohort must quarantine due to a COVID-19 exposure, all affected participants will not be permitted to attend PSAL activities for the duration of the closure. In the event of a school closure, PSAL activities will be suspended for the affected school for the duration of the closure.

 Students who test positive for COVID-19 will not be able to participate in any in-person team activities while in isolation. Further guidance regarding close contacts will be provided by the Situation Room pending investigation.

PSAL Responsibilities

Athletic Director's Responsibilities

The Athletic Director is responsible for implementing and enforcing the guidelines contained within this policy. If at any time the Athletic Director needs more clarification on the guidelines, they should contact the PSAL at PSAL@schools.nyc.gov.

The Athletic Director will be responsible for maintaining accurate attendance records of all individuals present at every practice and game. Each team event should have the date, time, type (practice or game) and location of the event. For the students, the record should include their first and last name, OSIS number and parent/guardian name and contact number. For all adults, including school staff, PSAL staff, medical staff, facility management staff, etc., the record should include a legible first name, last name, job title, and contact phone number.

Records may be kept as a physical paper log or in a digital method. All records (originals or copies) must be kept on file by the Athletic Director and must be filed by sport.

Coaches’ Responsibilities

The coaches will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by:

  1. Upholding all guidelines contained in this document;
  2. Communicating guidance in a clear and concise manner to athletes and parents;
  3. Producing accurate records of attendance for submission to Athletic Directors;
  4. Encouraging healthy behaviors, including proper hydration; and
  5. Gradually returning athletes to play.

Athletes’ Responsibilities

The athletes will help to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission by:

  1. Staying home and alerting a coach when they feel unwell or have been exposed to COVID-19;
  2. Following hand hygiene measures including but not limited to washing/sanitizing hands before and after PSAL activities;
  3. Sanitizing personal sports equipment daily (clothing, towels, water bottles, etc.); and
  4. Labeling personal sports equipment whenever possible.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. The DOE is committed to complying with Title IX and ensuring that DOE schools and workplaces are free of sex discrimination.

Questions regarding Title IX compliance should be referred to:

Deborah Wollenberg
Interim Acting TIX Coordinator
65 Court Street, Room 200
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-759-4954
dwollenberg@schools.nyc.gov

Disclaimer

This page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or change any of the state or city issued guidance. Schools should always follow and refer to the most updated DOE COVID-19 Guidance as well as city and state health guidance for any specific questions. Athletic Directors, principals, and other school administrators may contact the PSAL for clarification on any released guidance. 

Moises Jimenez et al. v. New York City Department of Education (Sports Equity Case): Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement

Your child might be a member of a proposed settlement class if they identify as Black and/or Latinx and attend or will be attending a New York City Department of Education high school and who play or will be able to play high school sports in the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) from 2021 through 2024. Copies of the court-ordered notice and the proposed settlement are available on the Moises Jimenez et al. v. New York City Department of Education (Sports Equity Case): Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement page.