Dear BMHS Families,

With the start of the winter sports season just a few weeks away, please review the important information below regarding health & safety protocols, eligibility and practice locations.

Vaccinations and Testing

While our sports teams are merged, we have the unique situation of our two school districts being located in two different counties. This means Berlin and New Lebanon have different guidelines to follow regarding testing and vaccinations for athletes. These guidelines are set by the county, and we are required to follow the procedures set forth by each county health department. All athletes are required to wear masks at practice and games/meets.

For Berlin students:

Per the Rensselaer County Department of Health, COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for participation in any winter sport. However, athletes must consent to regular weekly COVID-19 testing throughout the season. This will be based on test availability, staffing, space and time constraints.

For New Lebanon students:

The Columbia County Department of Health (CCDOH) requires all athletes participating in high-risk winter sports (basketball, boys volleyball, wrestling) to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is not required for moderate-risk sports. Because of the vaccination requirement, CCDOH has advised that regular COVID testing is not required.

Academic Eligibility

Athletes must be academically eligible to participate in sports.  Failing more than one class puts the athlete on the ineligible list for games for the first week, and for practice and games in subsequent weeks.

Spectators UPDATED 11/17

According to the policies set by the Superintendents of the Wasaren Conference, spectators for games/meets will be limited to two guests per athlete. Masks must be worn by all spectators in all sports. We are currently exploring the best method to live stream as many games as possible. We ask for your patience as we work to implement this plan.

Practice Locations

Practice locations will vary. We expect most JV/Varsity Boys Basketball practices to be held at Walter B. Howard Elementary School (WBH). Volleyball will practice at New Lebanon Jr/Sr High School. All other practices will be at either Berlin Middle-High School or Berlin Elementary School.

Miscellaneous Items

  • Please complete all relevant forms distributed by coaches.  There is medical and contact information which is necessary in order to participate.  We are currently looking into the best method to shift all of this to an electronic format, in order to avoid the redundancy of this necessity.
  • Given the number of those who have expressed interest in basketball exceeding the size of rosters, there will likely be cuts made in that sport.
  • Boys Volleyball is still not definitively running. More information as it becomes available.


We are pleased to be able to continue our partnership as we adjust to our completed athletics merger. We are continuously seeking ways to improve our program, especially as we navigate the various protocols, policies and guidelines around COVID-19. We thank you for your support and understanding, and recognize that our athletic program would not be successful without the support of our student athletes and their families.


Please remember that the ultimate goal is for our students to participate in sports in as safe a manner as possible.  If you have any questions, please contact Charles Paravella, Athletic Director (for Berlin CSD students) at or Christopher Pallozzi, Athletic Coordinator (for New Lebanon CSD students) at


Charles Paravella
Berlin Athletic Director