A big decision this afternoon from Pennsylvania’s governing body of high school sports.
The big headline after the PIAA Board of Directors met Wednesday afternoon is that the fall sports season will proceed as planned, as long as guidelines are followed by each team and school, set by the sports medicine advisory committee.
The PIAA has voted unanimously to proceed with high school sports in the fall, beginning with football heat acclimation practices on august 10th, with the rest of the sports beginning August 17.
If there is an outbreak of COVID-19, a hybrid start could occur, where all seasons would be pushed back to early October. The PIAA will allow local school districts to make decisions on fall sports. The governing body stressed that there are guidelines that must be followed.
If any player on a team tests positive for COVID-19, the entire team must quarantine for 14 days. When it comes to high school football, there were some in-depth guidelines discussed. Team boxes on the sidelines will be extended to the 10-yard line to increase social distancing.
Team huddles will be minimized. Players will be recommended to wear face shields on their helmets. And, there are new, more strict guidelines for cleaning footballs on the sideline.
Ball boys must wear gloves and be supervised by an adult staff member. Officials will also wear masks when entering the stadium. Football is still set to begin on the scheduled date of august tenth for those heat acclimation practices.
The motto the PIAA has adopted for the upcoming season: protect yourself, protect others, protect the season.