The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) cancelled all winter and spring sports and championships through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, according to a release.
The decision was made shortly after Gov. Tom Wolf’s Thursday announcement closing all Pennsylvania schools for the remainder of the school year.
“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.”
Currently, 17 other state high school associations have ended their sports seasons in similar fashion, according to the release.
Athletic activities have been suspended since March 12. The Gettysburg girls’ basketball team was in the hunt for a PIAA Class 5A title. The same was true for the New Oxford boys. The Delone girls, who looked to defend their PIAA-3A title, were also still alive in the quarterfinals of their tournament. It’s the first time since 1919 the PIAA will not crown basketball champions.
The PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships scheduled to begin March 12, which involve several local athletes, also fall casualty to the decision.
The PIAA Board of Directors will meet in the coming months to address concerns that arise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While remaining 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, the release read.
The 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 available at http://www.piaa.org.