What many high school athletes and coaches feared was inevitable became official Thursday.

Following Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to extend the closure of schools in the state through the end of the 2019-20 academic year, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association -- the state’s high school sports governing body -- had no choice but to officially cancel the 2020 spring sports season and the winter championships.

The PIAA released the following statement Thursday, April 9: 

“Today’s decision by the PIAA Board of Directors was difficult for everyone. Their thoughts remain on the thousands of student-athletes, coaches, officials and family members affected by this decision,” said PIAA Executive Director Dr. Robert A. Lombardi. “However, the board’s position reflects a steadfast priority of keeping our student-athletes, officials and member

schools’ staffs and their communities safe, while following the guidelines provided by the governor, the Department of Health and the Department of Education.

“We had maintained hope for a continuation of our Winter Championships and an abbreviated Spring season to help bring a sense of normalcy to our communities,” continued Lombardi. “As we navigate through this difficult time we need to remember the lessons that interscholastic athletics has taught us: cooperation, patience, sacrifice, responsibility, respect and perseverance.” 

At present, 17 other state high school associations have ended their sports seasons in similar fashion.

The PIAA Board of Directors will meet in the coming months to address any concerns that arise from the membership from the COVID-19 pandemic. While PIAA remains hopeful that summer activities will be able to commence July 1, it is still too early to reach any decisions or offer guidance at this time. In providing any further guidance to the membership, PIAA will continue to monitor any additional information provided by the Governor’s Office, Department of Health or Department of Education as it relates to interscholastic athletics.”

More information will be communicated via: http://www.piaa.org, as it becomes available.

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