PIAA votes to begin fall sports season, promises to adhere to safety guidelines
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Board has in a vote of 25-5, agreed to commence fall sports season such football, soccer, tennis, field hockey, girls volleyball and others on Monday.
While disclosing this on Friday, August 21, 2020, the PIAA said, “The Board agrees the decision to compete in athletics should be made locally allowing for each school entity to decide whether to proceed and which sports to sponsor.”
“The PIAA is committed to providing a season for all sports and all student-athletes in the upcoming school year and will continue to remain flexible,” it added.
The board believes that competition could resume provided schools respect health and safety guidelines.
Eric Kasperowicz, Pine-Richland football coach, speaking in support of starting the fall sports, said, “I know, at least at our place, we’re going to do everything we can to keep it that way. We don’t want to just start playing, we want to continue to play.”
Meanwhile, the PIAA had voted about two weeks ago to put the fall sports on hold following recommendation from Governor Tom Wolf that the fall sports should be postponed until January 2021.
Being health conscious, the PIAA and the WPIAL have put other safety guidelines in place such as social distancing and mask wearing by coaches and staff. Sharing of equipment is also not allowed.
However some local districts such as Pittsburgh Public Schools favor postponing this fall sports.
For instance, Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet, agrees that the sports be delayed.
“How can we conceivably not have kids in school but have kids in contact sports not wearing masks? So that was the mindset and we’re going to vote on it next Wednesday.”
Contrary to this, some parents especially in Pine-Richland have shown support for the commencement of the sport.
Some have put up signs near high school entrance declaring support for student-athletes.
“Let us play,” reads some of the signs.