The … He noted a couple of exceptions in the state mask-wearing mandate, including one being “If wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition, or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability.”, “That’s why the board felt these assessments should be done by each school,” Lombardi said. It went either under a facemask or over a facemask and that was good, but later as the season wore on it started to dissipate a little bit.”. I was informed by my district interpreter that the PIAA has instructed him that officials are to ignore obvious violations of the state mask mandate. Sports leagues are obsessed with the idea of fairness, and for good reason. There was no 5-on-5. Low near 25F. “Throw in Christmas and New Year’s, and we’re not playing at Whitehall between Dec. 23 and Jan. 11 because that’s what we agreed to, and there’s just not a lot of dates to play. And winter sports are held indoors while most Fall sports are held outdoors. The wrestling season, like the rest of the winter high school sports, usually begins with practice in late November and the season runs into March, culminating with the PIAA … Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. PIAA winter sports opened for one day in December and then paused. They are directed, if they have any issue with the way the masks are being worn, to talk to the game managers.”. Pre-K to 12 (PK-12) school sports under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PISAA) must follow the PDE Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools and the CDC Considerations for Youth Sports. I didn’t think that it was possible for the PIAA to ask to ignore state mandates. WINTER SPORTS GUIDE 2020-21: Unfinished business remains for girls basketball teams ... Players all wore masks. Author: Todd Sadowski (FOX43) Published: 11:53 AM EST January 15, 2021 PIAA assistant executive director Pat Gebhart referred to a recent basketball bulletin that gave guidance to officials to not enforce the mandate because they don’t have the authority to do so from the board. How do we approach mask enforcement? The PIAA met virtually Wednesday and decided to allow winter sports to start Friday as scheduled over pleas from school administrators asking for a … The state championship games in football are set for next weekend at Hershey with the first game kicking off at 11 a.m. on Friday. Require the consistent and correct use of masks, by making sure that staff, athletes, and spectators are covering their noses and mouths. That is, we tell the player a couple of times to tuck it in or he is going to be sitting on the bench. Practices cannot begin or resume until then, and with a 10-practice limit required for PIAA member schools to engage in competition, Wolf’s decree means that most PIAA winter sports … The 2021 winter sports season is going to look different, from masks in competition to smaller crowds. Wearing masks during winter sports remains a hot-button issue in the state as administrators navigate the winter sports season during the coronavirus pandemic. Robert Lombardi, the PIAA executive director, stated the responsibility falls upon game managers and emphasized that the organization is following the order that includes exceptions for extreme circumstances on an individual basis. The recent expiration of Pennsylvania Gov. More:YAIAA to require student-athletes to wear masks while competing in winter sports. The PIAA is seeking further clarification from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on its mask-wearing mandate for athletes during competition. Palmerton also announced it won’t start sports until January and Whitehall won’t begin practice until Nov. 27, one week after Friday’s first allowable date for practice. We are pretty sure we may be shortening those down. PIAA basketball teams should limit the number of individuals on their bench to maintain a social distance of six feet or more when possible. We also support the ability of an individual student to have an assessment to claim an exception for waiver under Section 3 of the order.”. Lombardi said the PIAA’s sports medicine committee expressed concern about getting proper levels of oxygen while wearing masks during competition and exercise. “With an abundance of caution, our sports medicine people have said schools have to continually evaluate their local situation and what’s going on with their schools to see how we can start the winter season.”, Lombardi said the schools did a terrific job in the fall and “should be complimented that we’re even as far along as we are.”. The first allowed date for practice is Friday. The last time we saw a basketball bouncing in a high school gym was in mid-March during the second round of the PIAA championships. It was determined schools could schedule exhibition games or matches if they meet the recent PIAA altered stipulation of holding 10 practices before schedule competition. PIAA is leaving enforcement of wearing masks by players and coaches up to each school. Pennsylvania coronavirus update: 4,688 additional cases, including 1,000 backlogged reports, Super Bowl Sunday snow? Read More... Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items. “A couple of things that made it very attractive to us were the fact that we have the use of so many facilities within their building. Hartman said he is hopeful his Whitehall can start on Nov. 27, which would give them enough time to be ready for the start of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference season on Dec. 15. Lebanon Sports … Tom Wolf’s limited-time coronavirus mitigation efforts also meant the resumption of the winter sports season. But Wolf did “recommend” that sports not be held at all until January 2021. Storm stages a comeback to kick off an uncertain week of weather in the Lehigh Valley, with 3 to 6 inches expected, South Whitehall public works employees go on strike amid contract negotiations, Was the Allentown teacher suspended after attending ‘Stop the Steal’ rally within his rights? Depending on when you start it really hamstrings your season.”. When riding in an automobile to a sports event, encourage players to ride to the sports event with persons living in their same household. Lombardi said the SMAC was concerned about students with exercise-induced asthma, diminished oxygenation and the retention of carbon dioxide. “Our position, right now, our policy mirrors the order from the administration and the Department of Health,” Lombardi said. Limit the use of carpools or van pools. piaa classification: 5a COACH : Tyson Hayes (2nd season, 13-11). ... That time frame offered more time between the end of fall sports season and the start of the winter sports. The PIAA is set to meet again on Dec. 9, which is two days before the start of the regular season in winter sports. Lombardi said at this point there has been no discussion about a postseason for winter sports. The membership told us loud and clear that we don’t want to stop at the end of the regular season if we can get district and state playoffs in.”. PIAA has requested guidance on the state’s renewed mask mandate, signed into order on November 17th, just three days before the start of winter sports in the state. More:PIAA lowers winter sports practice minimum to 10, postpones team wrestling tournament. Keith Groller can be reached at 610-820-6740 or at kgroller@mcall.com. Wearing masks during winter sports remains a hot-button issue in the state as administrators navigate the winter sports season during the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, Bethlehem Area School District announced its winter sports won’t begin until Jan. 11, which means the earliest Freedom and Liberty teams can compete is Jan. 26. On another coronavirus-related matter, the PIAA couldn’t come to an agreement on a provision that would require teams to have a minimum of three days of practice to resume its games after a stoppage. Sports official and newly elected District 2 Officials Representative James Elliott addressed the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association at its Board of Directors meeting Wednesday and inquired about mask wearing, who is responsible for enforcing Gov. The Football Steering Committee discussed an idea to end the season the weekend of Thanksgiving on a regular basis, just as it did with its adjusted format this past fall. Elliott cited games he’s seen live streamed and games he has refereed where players are wearing masks below their chin and that game management doesn’t want to be involved. Diving will be a champions-only contest March 13. The district deadline was also extended to March 7, with the provision of going to March 8 if weather postpones championship events. The start of winter sports competition is still more than three weeks away on Dec. 11 and Lombardi and other PIAA officials hoped to have more clarity on the masks by then, especially in a … “Also, our Return to Competition guidelines also do not give the officials the authority to do so. More:PIAA lowers winter sports practice minimum to … “The number of days available to kids is quite minimal and I just don’t want to see us reduce it further by making them practice for three days before they can return to play if they’re shut down,” he said. The fact that we can use their auxiliary gym, we can use their cafeteria, we can use their auditorium. ... Two of the biggest issues involving winter sports include the wearing of masks and having fans at … Wearing masks during Pennsylvania high school athletic events remains a hot-button issue in the state as administrators navigate the winter sports season during the coronavirus pandemic. 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Masks were required during Fall sports, but not by athletes actively competing in games or practices. Wrestling/Winter Sports More Wrestling/Winter Sports . “The Board of Directors did not make any rule modifications,” Gebhart said. “An exception might be if a mask creates an unsafe condition of an individual athlete. “We’ve got a serious issue when it comes to swimming,” said Melissa Mertz, the PIAA’s assistant executive director. Lombardi emphasized that the responsibility falls upon the game managers and hoped situations could be addressed before a contest starts to avoid drastic actions. The PIAA Board of Directors also had a regularly scheduled Zoom meeting scheduled for Wednesday and reaffirmed that winter sports seasons throughout the state may start on time on Friday. PIAA diving and swimming finals have yet to be determined. The state’s new rules on face masks make no mention of curtailing winter sports. Lombardi said it’s important to get the 15 days of preseason practice complete because if there is an interruption there’s still up to 10 weeks available to get in your 22 games or whatever the maximum number of games in a season allowed in that particular sport.. “If you wait to say Jan. 31 to start, well, you’ve still got to get your three weeks of preseason in and that takes you til about Feb. 18 and you can’t get in 22 games in 14 days,” he said. Officials with the PIAA and WPIAL are fighting new rules requiring athletes wear a mask during competition both indoors and outside. ... That time frame offered more time between the end of fall sports season and the start of the winter sports. Wearing masks during winter sports remains a hot-button issue in the state as administrators navigate the winter sports season during the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors on PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee say masks are safe and necessary. Column / 2 months ago. In addition, the university will not be on spring break as in years past, creating an increase in the number of students on campus. Basketball players wear masks while practicing at Hempfield High School Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. Items that could be addressed at the next strategic planning meeting Feb. 10 include: starting the fall season earlier; reducing the number of qualifiers at the district and subregional levels; the completion of the season the week before Thanksgiving to take advantage better weather and the break between fall and winter sport seasons; and to not have teams travel or make arrangements for Thanksgiving Day travel or early morning the day after the holiday. All programs must complete of 15 days of preseason practice before beginning play, but once that requirement is met, Hartman would like to see teams be able to play immediately and not have to practice for three days after a stoppage. “It’s 15 days, no more or less.”. And who’s to say we’re not going to get shut down again because this is not going away.”. The PIAA also accepted a motion that permits virtual meets for some winter sports that include swimming and diving, indoor track and field, gymnastics, bowling, rifle and competitive cheer. The 2020-21 winter high school sports season has arrived after a brief delay, and all six Centre County schools are set to participate. That is an individualized assessment and done at each individual school. When you’re talking about a swimmer turning his or her head and grabbing oxygen, we could have some serious medical complications if we don’t have an exception in swimming.”, Whitehall High School athletic director and District 11 chairman Bob Hartman, whose facility will host district championship games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and the state championships in field hockey on Saturday, said: “You may see kids with masks on while playing in these games and that’s OK.”. “We have to see what we need to do first,” he said. But to put a team out for more than three days because of a COVID-19 closure, which is what we’re going through right now, and then make them have to practice for three days after they come back ... it just takes usable days away from kids to compete. Tom Wolf’s mandate and offered a suggestion that game officials treat adherence like they would the uniform policy. A few flurries or snow showers possible. It gives us flexibility on spacing people out. Sunshine and clouds mixed. On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued more restrictive mandates on wearing masks in response to record-breaking numbers of postive COVID-19 cases across the state. The PIAA Board of Directors met on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming winter sports season, and they are still pressing on with no delay. If we learned from the fall, by having a district-champions-only tournament we were able to get something in along with a good regular season. L-L League schools are now requiring winter sports student-athletes to wear face coverings at all times. Masks. If we’ve learned anything from the fall, it’s that the people who started earlier were able to handle interruptions easier than those who started later.”. We had cloth masks specifically designed for a football helmet. We support that. As some schools pause winter sports competition until after the New Year, the PIAA is moving forward, in spite of a call from the Pennsylvania Principals Association (PPA) to … In our league and many across the state, masks are required. Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s health secretary, said that masks are to be worn anytime someone leaves their home. The PIAA allowed teams to … Of particular concern would be the mandate applying to swimmers. “What has us concerned is some places are saying we are doing this and some are doing that. Tom Wolfe came out on Aug. 6 that he “strongly recommends” no sports or extracurricular activity until Jan. 1. The PIAA has given the okay for high school winter sports to begin as scheduled beginning Friday, meaning sports tryouts and practices will begin on time. Sports … Some nonleague games have already been postponed he said. “And now even those three days are up for discussion.”. 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