After more than 90 days with no high school sports in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf gave the go-ahead to resume athletic activities on Wednesday after releasing safety guidelines.
However, the return of sports as the COVID-19 pandemic continues is contingent upon individual school districts’ development and implementation of safety plans. Teams and schools also must follow detailed safety protocols mandated by the state before practices or games may resume.
The release states “Pre-K to 12 (PK-12) school sports under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PISAA) are permitted to resume in counties designated in the Yellow and Green phases, in alignment with the PDE Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools and the CDC Considerations for Youth Sports.”
The statement also said that sports at those levels “are limited to student athletes, coaches, officials, and staff only. The addition of visitors and spectators will be contingent upon future health conditions within the state and local communities.”
Melissa Mertz, the PIAA associate executive director, said that the restriction of fans is in place now because events with spectators would not take place for the next two months. Those restrictions could change in August when the regular season begins for several fall sports.