PIAA to move forward with fall sports season, no spectators allowed

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(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A big decision came from Pennsylvania’s governing body of high school sports.

The big headline after the PIAA Board of Directors met to discuss the matter is that the fall sports season will be held, as long as guidelines are followed by each team and school, set by the sports medicine advisory committee.

The PIAA has voted unanimously to proceed with high school sports in the fall, beginning with football heat acclimation practices on August 10, with the rest of the sports beginning August 17.

If there is an outbreak of COVID-19, a hybrid start could occur, where all seasons would be pushed back to early October. The PIAA will allow local school districts to make decisions on fall sports. The governing body stressed that there are guidelines that must be followed.

The PIAA COVID-19 guidelines do not allow for spectators for sporting events grades K-12.

If any player on a team tests positive for COVID-19, the entire team must quarantine for 14 days. When it comes to high school football, there were some in-depth guidelines discussed. Team boxes on the sidelines will be extended to the 10-yard line to increase social distancing.

Team huddles will be minimized. Players will be recommended to wear face shields on their helmets. And, there are new, more strict guidelines for cleaning footballs on the sideline.

Ball boys must wear gloves and be supervised by an adult staff member. Officials will also wear masks when entering the stadium. Football is still set to begin on the scheduled date of August 10th for those heat acclimation practices.

The motto the PIAA has adopted for the upcoming season: protect yourself, protect others, protect the season.

The PIAA also stated they will be following state guidance in regard to spectators at sporting events. Click Here to read more.

In a press conference on Thursday, Governor Tom Wolf seemed to recommend schools do not hold any type of sports until January 2021, after being asked for an update on current PIAA guidance.

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