The Lead

Wolf administration recommends schools cancel sports until Jan. 2021

By: - August 6, 2020 3:51 pm

(*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.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.