Valley Sports Report
HARRISBURG — At this moment, it appears high school sports in Pennsylvania will go off as scheduled, but unless things change, there won’t be any fans in the stands.
This afternoon, the PIAA’s Board of Directors voted to accept the recommendations of its Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, which has given its approval to return to the fall sports season on schedule.
In its "Return to Competition Guidelines,” the PIAA said "sports activities at the pre-kindergarten-12 level are limited to student athletes, coaches, officials, and staff only.”
According to the “Guidelines” document:
"In the Preliminary School Sports Guidance document which was released by (Governor Tom Wolf's) Office on June 10 and updated on July 15, any sports-related activities in Yellow or Green phased counties must adhere to the gathering limitations set forth by the Governor’s Plan for Phased Reopening (25 in yellow, 250 outdoors and 25 indoors in green).
“During the Yellow and Green phases of reopening, sports-related activities at the PK-12 level are limited to student athletes, coaches, officials, and staff only.
"At this time spectators for K-12 events are not allowed.”
The “Guidelines” document also states the addition of spectators is "contingent upon future health conditions within the state and local communities," and that it expects to receive additional guidance from the governor's office and the Department of Education.
Should spectators eventually be allowed, attendance will be subject to limitations that were also included in the Preliminary School Sports Guidance from the Department of Health, including:
• Seating areas, including bleachers, must adhere to social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet of spacing for anyone not in the same household.
• To assist with proper social distancing, areas should be clearly marked;
• Adults must face coverings (masks or face shields) at all times;
• Spectators should not enter the field of play or bench areas;• Non-essential visitors, spectators, and volunteers should be limited when possible, including activities with external groups or organizations.
The ”Return to Competition Guidelines” also includes guidelines for each individual fall sport, as well as coaches, officials, athlete parents or guardians, media, host / visiting schools, game-day workers, and others.
Heat acclimation week is scheduled to begin Aug. 10, while full practices are slated to begin Aug. 17.
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