This story has been flying under the radar a bit, but in a decision made Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association announced that fall high school sports will be a go in 2020.
Here’s the release:
PIAA is moving forward with start of the Fall Sports Season as scheduled. pic.twitter.com/HGyoPde6cB
— PIAA (@PIAASports) July 15, 2020
The interesting thing here is that this decision comes less than one day after the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference decided to suspend fall sports entirely. If you’re not familiar with the PSAC, it’s the conference that includes 16 division two Pennsylvania schools, plus a 17th located in West Virginia. Kutztown, Bloomsburg, West Chester, and Millersville are all PSAC members.
The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference voted on Tuesday, July 14, to suspend all mandated conference athletic events and championships through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Conference has already undertaken a full review of its ability to shift fall sports competition and championships to the spring semester and fully intends to do so if a return to competition can be safely executed.
All fall and winter sports scheduled to begin before January 1 are impacted by this decision. The Conference will evaluate the necessary schedule changes and will communicate its plans for moving all competitions to the spring semester at a later date.
If you wade into the comments of any Twitter or Facebook post on this topic, you’ll find an interesting debate. Most of the back and forth is centered on the fact that high school kids will be allowed to play, while D2 college student-athletes can’t. There’s also a high school-specific debate between parents who think this is a good idea and parents who think it’s a bad idea, which seems to run concurrent with beliefs on whether or not school should be held in person or virtually.
Something to keep an eye on. Pennsylvania just this week pulled back on indoor dining and some other COVID-related guidelines, so the PIAA might be impacted by something out of its control as we get closer to August and September.