The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) considers that there are enough arguments to find an alternative to the cancellation of sports activities for this year as requested by Gov. Tom Wolf. For this reason the association is soliciting a meeting with the state’s highest authority to discuss its terms concerning fall sports.
So far the governor and PIAA have different points of view on whether schools should have fall sports this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Governor has said sports should be postponed until January of 2021 while the PIAA has voted to delay the start of high school sports until Aug. 24.
The PIAA has stated the reasons for going ahead with fall sports in a letter to the governor. “We recognize, understand and support the significant objective of your office to minimize the risk of a major COVID-19 outbreak this fall and further understand that reducing activities where people congregate supports that goal,” they said.
However, the organization believes there are certain reasons to proceed with the sports activities: One of them is that there have been recreational tournaments all summer without any outbreaks.
They also argue that if kids cannot play organized sports, they will play sports on their own without the proper safety precautions. “Doing so within the educational umbrella may provide the safest means for that to occur.”
They say their guidelines are as strict or stricter than the governor’s orders. They “have developed guidelines and practices that go even beyond those that your office has developed,” said the statement.
They also assured they do not plan to allow sports in coronavirus hot spots. “They believe there remains a viable path to permit students in many schools the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics in a controlled, healthy and safe manner.”
While the governor has recommended against having sports for schools this fall, he has not banned them.
The PIAA will decide by next Friday whether to follow the governor’s recommendations.