Pennsylvania still moving forward with Fall sports in the Fall, but…

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The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association held a meeting with Governor Tom Wolf’s staff on Friday to discuss plans to move forward with with high school football in the Fall. The governor has strongly recommended that there be no sports in the state until January 1.

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

News Release: PIAA SPEAKS WITH GOVERNOR’S STAFF

Today, PIAA discussed with representatives of the Governor’s office, options for starting fall sports. We discussed many different scenarios including schools’ health and sports’ safety strategies, local liability protection and options for moving ahead with fall sports. The Governor’s staff repeatedly indicated this is a local school decision.

PIAA is concerned that the Governor’s “strong” recommendation last week and comments in yesterday’s press conference were not based upon Pennsylvania sports specific data and the recommendation has been perceived as a mandate by member schools. PIAA is very aware of
the negative impact postponement of fall sports will have upon our 350,000 student-athletes and their families.

PIAA Executive Director, Dr. Robert A. Lombardi, stated, “We will continue to be advocates for athletic activities that promote the health, and safety, social, emotional, and mental well-being of student-athletes”.

Since March, PIAA has taken a measured approach in a step-by-step basis to assist our membership in developing Return to Competition Guidelines that will assist in providing schools with a framework to develop best practices for a safe return to play. To that end, the PIAA Board of Directors will meet again on Friday, August 21, 2020 to discuss the starting of fall sports.

So where does this leave things?

It’s going to be up to the PIAA to decide if the season goes-on as planned in the Fall. However, ultimately the individual schools and leagues will make the decision.

Read: 13 states, plus DC will play high school football in 2021

Since the PIAA said that football could be played as scheduled, numerous leagues across the state announced later start dates than the original regular season kickoff weekend on August 28-29.

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About the Author

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.