Wolf administration recommends schools cancel sports until Jan. 2021

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    (*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.

    John L. Micek
    A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press