(*Updated at 4:41 p.m. on 8/6/20 to include comment from the PIAA)
With the start of classes only weeks away, and with some student-athletes already returning to training, the state Departments of Health and Education have recommended that school districts cancel sports until January 2021 to protect them from contracting COVID-19.
In a statement, the agencies said that’s only a “strong recommendation” and “not an order or mandate.”
“As with deciding whether students should return to in-person classes, remote learning or a blend of the two this fall, school administrators and locally elected school boards should make decisions on sports,” the statement reads.
According to the administration, the guidance:
- “Applies to team and individual, school and non-school recreational youth sports;
- “Includes competitions, intramural play and scrimmages;”
- Recommends “continuing conditioning, drills and other training activities on an individual basis;
- It “does not apply to collegiate and professional sports;
- And “gathering limits remain unchanged – no more than 25 persons may gather indoors and 250 outdoors.”
The administration says it’s updating existing sports guidance to reflect the new recommendation.
*In a statement, the PIAA, which sanctions interscholastic athletics, said it was “tremendously disappointed” in the administration’s announcement, and planned to meet Friday to review the action.
PIAA Update: pic.twitter.com/ue7q7xQy9U
— PIAA (@PIAASports) August 6, 2020