The New York State Amateur Hockey Association has begun legal action against Governor Andrew Cuomo in an attempt to resume hockey in New York State. The board of directors for NYSAHA have retained legal counsel and posted a letter on their website stating their intentions to obtain a court ruling that will allow the resumption of hockey here in New York.

The debate on what sports can and can not be played safely during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on. The latest battle which could find its way into a New York courtroom is between the New York State Hockey Association (NYSAHA) and Governor Cuomo. NYSAHA posted a letter to their website Tuesday detailing the steps they are taking to get amateur hockey back on the ice here in New York:

The New York State Amateur Hockey Association (NYSAHA) Board of Directors
has retained the services of the law firm of Hogan Willig of Amherst New York for
the purposes of filing a legal action against the Honorable Andrew Cuomo,
Governor of the State of New York et al to obtain a court ruling that will allow the
resumption of hockey in New York State.

This lawsuit comes about a week after the USA Junior hockey team was able to beat team Canada for the gold medal in the IIHF World Junior tournament. It occurs to me the only way we'll be able to see young men and women from New York represent the US in tournaments in the near future is to let them play. Obviously, this has to be achieved safely. NYSAHA has been working with USA Hockey to address safety concerns and added the following bullet points in a letter on their website.

• Hockey players are covered in equipment from head to toe (unlike most other sports);
• Ice rinks have significant HVAC systems that regularly circulate fresh air into the facility;
• USA Hockey and NYSAHA provide a controlled environment, with players having to register and then be rostered on a team. It is known exactly who is on the ice, and groups are together for the season; and
• With the significant size of the playing surface and facilities, there are responsible ways forward to conduct the sport - - maintaining social distancing, and with safety and hygiene at the forefront.

I can't help but remember an address from the governor last April where Cuomo said "I wish you could become immune to this virus the way I've become immune to NRA lawsuits." Now obviously this is a different situation but the reason I bring it up is that this could be a difficult battle for the NYSAHA. The governor not only has a legal team that works for his office but he himself has a law degree from Albany Law School and served as the Attorney General of New York before being elected governor of New York. The key to this battle in my opinion will be the support the NYSAHA receives from the public.

To read the NYSAHA's plan to play safely and stay updated with details about the pending lawsuit go to NYSAHA.com.

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