In advance of its meeting on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Administration (PIAA) seems poised to forge ahead with fall sports, according to its agenda.
In a meeting on Thursday, the members of the PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) voted unanimously (15-0) to recommend that fall sports start on time in the state with strict adherence (emphasis theirs) by schools and teams to their school-adopted plans, and the Governor’s School Sports Guidance plans.
They discussed various scenarios in the meeting — this one being the most important — if one player on a team tests positive for coronavirus, then the entire team must quarantine for 14 days.
The SMAC also stated it is aware of the concerns shared by school administrators on the re-starting of schools generally, and challenges in doing so may require suspension of athletics until schools get started so students may adjust to bus and daily schedules.
SMAC also said that with some parts of the state having cases go up, while other parts of the state have fewer cases that sports may proceed at a different pace in different parts of the state.
All of the fall sports steering committees met last week, and came up with recommendations on how to play during the pandemic. An example from football would be to extend the team box down to the 10-yard lines to allow for more social distancing.
Another big discussion will involve how to conduct the state playoffs and tournaments in the various fall sports. Some sports are thinking about limiting qualifiers this year, or in the case of tennis possibly having just the district winners play in the state championships.
All of these recommendations are pending the approval of the PIAA Board of Directors, which meets via Zoom on Wednesday afternoon.