PIAA delays fall sports to late August
The PIAA decided to delay the start of fall sports until Aug. 24. The PIAA is hoping to engage in further dialogue with the governor’s office regarding his recommendation from Thursday.
In its statement released after the meeting, the PIAA said that “the unintended consequences of canceling fall sports need to be further reviewed.”
The Board will reconvene on Aug. 21.
“Between now and then, voluntary workouts, per the Governor’s Guidance for All Sports, and with local approval, may continue,” the PIAA said. “Mandatory fall sports activities are paused for the two-week period. PIAA remains committed to providing a season for each of the sports during the 2020-2021 school year.”
The PIAA stated that it does believe it can safely sponsor fall sports. In addition, it is asking Gov. Tom Wolf and the Departments of Health and Education to “partner with us and work collaboratively to further discuss fall sports.”
The PIAA is also seeking insight and discussion from the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
“The PIAA board of directors has heard the thousands of voices of student-athletes, parents, coaches and community leaders that have contacted us. The board believes that the governor’s strong recommendation to delay sports to Jan. 1, 2021 has a potential negative impact on the students’ physical, social, emotional and mental health,” the PIAA said in a statement shortly after its meeting. “These issues along with the financial inability of many students to participate in any other form of non-school based athletic programs affect all students directly or indirectly.”
The meeting was prompted after Gov. Tom Wolf’s recommendation Thursday at the end of his press conference that fall sports should be suspended until Jan. 1, 2021. The PIAA met Thursday afternoon shortly after Wolf’s remarks, but there was no decision made and a meeting was scheduled for Friday to discuss everything.
“Based on currently known information, the Committee believes that strict adherence by schools and teams to their school-adopted plans and the Governor’s School Sports Guidance should provide a reasonably safe environment for student athletes to participate in interscholastic athletics as currently scheduled,” the PIAA said.