PRESS RELEASE – MECHANICSBURG, PA – FRIDAY, AUGUST 7, 2020
The PIAA Board of Directors met this afternoon to review Governor Wolf’s statement strongly recommending no interscholastic and recreational sports until January 1st. As we have noted, our member schools have worked diligently to develop health and safety plans in accordance with the Department of Health and and Department of Education recommendations to allow students to safely return to interscholastic sports.
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 January 1, 2021 has a potential negative impact on the students’ physical, social, emotional, and mental health. These issues along with the financial inability of many students to participant in any other form of non-school based athletic programs affect all students directly or indirectly.
PIAA is asking the Governor, along with the Departments of Health and Education, to partner with us and work collaboratively to further discuss fall sports.We are also seeking insight and discussion from the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
It is clear to PIAA, the unintended consequences of cancelling fall sports need to be further reviewed. PIAA has worked diligently with its Sport Medicine Advisory Committee and development the following general policy statement:
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.
Consistent with the advice of the PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, PIAA continues to believe it can safely sponsor fall sports. On August 21 the Board will reconvene. Between now and then, voluntary workouts, per the Governor’s Guidance for All Sports, and with local approval may continue. 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.