MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – After weeks of tough discussions and back and forth with Governor Tom Wolf, the PIAA board voted Friday afternoon to move forward with the fall sports season; however, the final decision for each school will remain in the hands of local school districts.
The PIAA board, via a 25-5 vote, passed legislation to begin the fall sports season on Monday, August 24. The season will include all of the typical fall sports, both outdoor and indoor. While practices can officially begin on August 24, contests cannot be played until September 11.
“The Board agrees the decision to compete in athletics should be made locally allowing for each school entity to decide whether to proceed and which sports to sponsor,” said the board in a release. “As the health and safety of students is paramount in moving forward with athletics, the Board believes that through each member schools’ adherence to their developed school health and safety plans and the PIAA return to competition guidelines sports can continue.”
“The PIAA board of directors has heard the thousands of voices of student-athletes, parents, coaches, officials as well as community leaders that have contacted us. We remind those individuals who have strongly advocated for athletics that they must keep strict adherence to school health and safety plans. All individuals involved in interscholastic athletic communities have a role in the health and wellness of all participants.”
The PIAA had previously stated their intent to move forward with the season earlier this August, but the Governor’s recommendation to postpone athletic activities prompted the PIAA to delay their decision-making process.
The PIAA also unanimously voted to monitor the progress of the fall season, and make changes if necessary.
“PIAA is committed to providing a season for all sports and all student-athletes in the upcoming school year and will continue to remain flexible the PIAA board also voted that based on local school decisions, the PIAA will monitor school participation in fall sports and may pursue alternate solutions if needed.”