Pennsylvania moves the opening of high school football camps back two weeks

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So much for full speed ahead for high school football in Pennsylvania. Friday, the PIAA Friday announced that it’s pushing back the opening of Fall camps two weeks while it addresses Thursday announcement by Governor Tom Wolf that there shouldn’t be any sports in the state until after January 1.

Read: PA Governor surprises PIAA with comment of no sports until January 1

On July 29, the PIAA announced that the state would open camps as scheduled on August 10. Thursday’s announcement by the governor caught the state’s governing body off-guard.

After Friday’s meeting, the PIAA released this statement:

“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 participate in any other form of non-school based athletic programs affect all students directly or indirectly.”

From PIAA website

With the two week delay, there is no way that Pennsylvania will be able to start the regular season as planned on August 28.

Full PIAA News Release

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 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 participate 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 Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and developed 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 21st 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.

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Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.