The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), the governing body for high school sports in the state, released a statement Thursday regarding their plans for the 2020 fall sports season, announcing they are moving forward with the season as scheduled.
The statement said the following:
“PIAA is moving forward with the normal start of the fall sports season unless otherwise directed by the commonwealth. Heat acclimatization for football will begin on Aug. 10, and the first practice date for the remaining fall sports will begin on Aug. 17. Our focus is the health and safety of student-athletes, which is paramount in moving forward with athletics. Each member school has developed health and safety guidelines to allow athletics to continue as an important part of the school day. Participation in athletics has known health benefits, including promoting physical fitness and mental wellness, which is necessary in a time of uncertainty for our student-athletes.
“PIAA is committed to providing a season for all sports in the upcoming school year and will be flexible if conditions would change.”
The news is encouraging, but Shippensburg Area High School Athletic Director Michael Montedoro knows there are still many hurdles to clear before the Greyhounds return to the field, and pointed specifically to the language of the statement that read, ‘unless otherwise directed by the commonwealth.’
“They are trying to leave it up to the state to determine what we are going to do,” he stated. “They also put that last sentence in there, the PIAA is committed to providing a season for all sports in the upcoming school year and will be flexible if conditions do change. They left themselves a couple outs. We are planning on moving ahead, but there is still no way to know.”
One thing Montedoro is sure of, however, is that he doesn’t want to go through again what he experienced this past spring.
“Your heart breaks for the seniors that didn’t get to have a spring season, and it would be just as traumatic for those seniors that are counting on having a fall season,” Montedoro said. “We are working real hard with our school administration trying to figure out what is best for Shippensburg as we move forward. We want nothing more than to play sports in the fall, we just don’t know what that is going to look like.”
Last week, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) announced that they will push back both fall and winter sports for member institutions until after the new year, with the aim of having all sports compete during the spring semester.