Are we going to have all of those qualifiers in swimming and wrestling? 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. “I get it,” Hartman said. 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 … Masks were required during Fall sports, but not by athletes actively competing in games or practices. “I think there are a number of items we need to take a look at, not only for football, but in Strategic Planning as a global view of all fall sports to assist them in not only getting there seasons in, but getting them in optimal conditions and optimal facilities.”, Contact the writer: jbfawcett@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9125; @sportsTT on Twitter. “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. Lombardi said the PIAA is satisfied with how things have gone considering the rising COVID-19 numbers. There was an error processing your request. 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. L-L League schools are now requiring winter sports student-athletes to wear face coverings at all times. But Wolf did “recommend” that sports not be held at all until January 2021. “Each school has its own health and safety plan, and they know best the condition of each of their individual student-athletes.”. Swimming is no exception, and the PIAA has … Success! More:YAIAA to require student-athletes to wear masks while competing in winter sports. “The Board of Directors did not make any rule modifications,” Gebhart said. More:YAIAA to require student-athletes to wear masks while competing in winter sports. Lombardi emphasized that the responsibility falls upon the game managers and hoped situations could be addressed before a contest starts to avoid drastic actions. “They are not dangerous, the cloth masks they’re wearing,” he said. The PIAA met virtually Wednesday and decided to allow winter sports to start Friday as scheduled over pleas from school administrators asking for a … “I understand the principles of health and safety. “We’re going to finalize our winter sports dates, talk about masks in each gym and our district and interdistrict games,” Majikes said. 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.”. We talked about doing awards in the auditorium. 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 … ... the spring high school sports season. And who’s to say we’re not going to get shut down again because this is not going away.”. Doctors on PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee say masks are safe and necessary. Keith Groller can be reached at 610-820-6740 or at kgroller@mcall.com. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.. A few clouds. Tom Wolf’s mandate and offered a suggestion that game officials treat adherence like they would the uniform policy. Hartman also said bad weather in the winter is often a factor. Wearing masks during winter sports remains a hot-button issue in the state as administrators navigate the winter sports season during the coronavirus pandemic. That is an individualized assessment and done at each individual school. “We’re 10 days from the end of the fall season,” Lombardi said in reference to the last day of the state football championships, scheduled for Nov. 28 at HersheyPark Stadium. 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.”. Diving will be a champions-only contest March 13. WINTER SPORTS GUIDE 2020-21: Unfinished business remains for girls basketball teams ... Players all wore masks. “I think only six have dropped out of 96 since we started states, but obviously everyone is keeping an eye on the changes over the last couple of weeks,” he said. The event ran into several challenges with the host site, which is allowing a limited number of people into its Kinney Natatorium and Sojka Pavilion. We had cloth masks specifically designed for a football helmet. Tom Wolfe came out on Aug. 6 that he “strongly recommends” no sports or extracurricular activity until Jan. 1. Wrestling/Winter Sports More Wrestling/Winter Sports . Of particular concern would be the mandate applying to swimmers. Sports … Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s health secretary, said that masks are to be worn anytime someone leaves their home. 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. We are pretty sure we may be shortening those down. “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. Author: Todd Sadowski (FOX43) Published: 11:53 AM EST January 15, 2021 Lombardi said the SMAC was concerned about students with exercise-induced asthma, diminished oxygenation and the retention of carbon dioxide. Luckily, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Board of Directors had decided to extend winter sports as of their meeting on Dec. 9, 2020. 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.”. 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? After a concentrated effort by the PIAA to make sure fall sports continued, the Gov. The PIAA is set to meet again on Dec. 9, which is two days before the start of the regular season in winter sports. Read More... Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items. I’m not sure all of the sports were thought out when that was put in there. 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 sport like swimming, which obviously could be problematic in regard to the mask mandate. Wearing masks during winter sports remains a hot-button issue in the state as administrators navigate the winter sports season during the coronavirus pandemic. “Our position, right now, our policy mirrors the order from the administration and the Department of Health,” Lombardi said. The rules were announced as part of a … “We have learned some lessons from this past fall and we heard from our schools on some of the things and the changes in schedule that assisted them as far as planning and playing,” Lombardi said. The PIAA Board of Directors met on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming winter sports season, and they are still pressing on with no delay. He added that presents its own unique challenges. PIAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Lombardi issued a press release Friday to answer questions about a new Pa. order that requires people to wear a face covering in public. 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. That usually alleviates the problem. There will be no spectators allowed for the swimming championships. “But our football players at Whitehall for a good part of the year had masks on their facemasks which was good,” he said. “Each school should make their own individual assessment and determination in deciding whether their teams might fit into an exception,”Lombardi said. A few flurries or snow showers possible. Basketball players wear masks while practicing at Hempfield High School Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. There was a problem saving your notification. As the discussion continued, Lombardi also said, as the season moves toward the postseason, that the mask wearing situation will continue to be looked at more closely. While in the early stages, the ideas are on the table to be implemented as early as the 2021 fall season. 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. 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. He said winter sports can happen, but, “they will likely see the virus intrude on their season.” As for masks, the doctor said while they are not 100% effective, they should be worn during competition to reduce the spread of breath droplets in the air. And winter sports are held indoors while most Fall sports are held outdoors. ... (WHO), people should not wear masks while exercising,... By Nate Steis. Each day's obituaries, delivered to your inbox. Sports leagues are obsessed with the idea of fairness, and for good reason. Mask wearing remains hot-button issue for PIAA. Lombardi said that if schools are able, the PIAA encourages them to start practicing in basketball, wrestling and swimming as soon as possible. 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The order says masks will be worn. “Several schools around the state are using exceptions for mask wearing. PIAA is leaving enforcement of wearing masks by players and coaches up to each school. Lombardi said the PIAA recommends that decisions on winter sports be made by each school district, the same approach the organization took for fall sports. PIAA basketball teams should limit the number of individuals on their bench to maintain a social distance of six feet or more when possible. He asked what officials are to do after accepting the game with the understanding the state mandate would be followed? Wyoming Valley Conference winter sports teams returned to practice Monday after a three-week shutdown and the loss of more than 200 basketball games, wrestling matches and … Require the consistent and correct use of masks, by making sure that staff, athletes, and spectators are covering their noses and mouths. 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. The swimming championships will be March 19-20. 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. Column / 2 months ago. Sunshine and clouds mixed. The months of January and December have been up in the air regarding winter sports and their requirements since the climbing COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania. Doctors on PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee say masks are safe and necessary. 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. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association left the decision on whether student athletes would wear masks in competition in the hands of each individ. The PIAA’s next meeting will take place on Dec. 9, coming prior to the start of competition in winter sports across the state. “We have to see what we need to do first,” he said. “We must all be diligent at wearing masks all of the time,” she said. The … “Also, our Return to Competition guidelines also do not give the officials the authority to do so. The state’s new rules on face masks make no mention of curtailing winter sports. The boys and girls basketball championships remain on schedule to be held March 25-27 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Schools competing in the Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association are required to wear masks for all events. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. “We’re 10 days away from completing a fall season and we’re proud of that because many of our schools were very concerned about starting in August and they proved to their communities and everyone that this could be done, if it’s taken seriously, which it was, and following the proper protocols,” Lombardi said. In rifle, the top two teams in each section will meet in the WPIAL championships on Feb. 16 at Dormont Mt. “Everybody wears a mask, except those individuals that claim an exception under Section 3 of the order. Basketball players wear masks while practicing at Hempfield High School Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. 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 … “And now even those three days are up for discussion.”. The board did … There are concerns about deciding to forfeit contests when there is not an agreed upon decision regarding mask wearing, especially in playoff games. There are still no dates set for the PIAA Team Wrestling Championships, however, the board agreed to a district deadline date of March 20. Pennsylvania coronavirus update: 4,688 additional cases, including 1,000 backlogged reports, Super Bowl Sunday snow? 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. 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. ... That time frame offered more time between the end of fall sports season and the start of the winter sports. More:PIAA lowers winter sports practice minimum to 10, postpones team wrestling tournament. Winter championshipsThis year’s Swimming and Diving Championships are likely to move to Cumberland Valley High School, pending a written release from its contract with Bucknell University. 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. How do we approach mask enforcement? High around 45F. It gives us flexibility on spacing people out. The district deadline was also extended to March 7, with the provision of going to March 8 if weather postpones championship events. 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. Officials with the PIAA and WPIAL are fighting new rules requiring athletes wear a mask during competition both indoors and outside. They are directed, if they have any issue with the way the masks are being worn, to talk to the game managers.”. 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. PIAA is leaving enforcement of wearing masks by players and coaches up to each school. On Wednesday after the PIAA’s monthly board of control meeting, executive director Robert Lombardi said each school should be in contact with their solicitor to decide whether they may fit into an exception that would alleviate their requirement to wear masks during competition. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is moving forward with plans to start official winter sports practice Friday, while also managing the … Joby began his career in The Times-Tribune print facility before moving to the newsroom In addition, the university will not be on spring break as in years past, creating an increase in the number of students on campus. The PIAA on Wednesday reaffirmed its stance that winter high school sports in the state are on as scheduled. Basketball, wrestling and other high school winter sports seasons will start Friday, just as planned. The recent expiration of Pennsylvania Gov. Limit the use of carpools or van pools. Many area scholastic sports teams resumed or began winter sports practices Monday, and a few teams will begin competitions as early as Friday. The fact that we can use their auxiliary gym, we can use their cafeteria, we can use their auditorium. Lombardi said the PIAA is concerned that wearing masks in certain sports, such as wrestling and swimming, present obvious issues. Masks. I was told not to do that and that we don’t have any enforcement and that it is game management.”. 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. 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 last time we saw a basketball bouncing in a high school gym was in mid-March during the second round of the PIAA championships. By Maxfield Lane. Tom Wolf’s limited-time coronavirus mitigation efforts also meant the resumption of the winter sports season. 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. I understand the rationale. Lebanon Sports … “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. 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 … Lombardi was asked if he sought further guidance from the department of health on the issue, and said he did, but received no response. L-L League schools are now requiring winter sports student-athletes to … If an athlete has some sort of respiratory condition or activity-induced asthma, you could see some members of one team wear masks and others may not.”. The PIAA opposes … I didn’t think that it was possible for the PIAA to ask to ignore state mandates. “It’s 15 days, no more or less.”. The PIAA is implementing strict coronavirus protocols – which will include the wearing of masks at all times, with the exception of the sport of swimming. It was also agreed upon that athletes would wear masks while competing, except in the swimming pool. There was no 5-on-5. “What has us concerned is some places are saying we are doing this and some are doing that. piaa classification: 5a COACH : Tyson Hayes (2nd season, 13-11). “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 PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee has opposed the use of masks during competition as a safety issue. We support that. Low near 25F. “We need to get those 15 days of practice under our belt, and that 15 days is not waivable,” Hartman said. Wearing masks during winter sports remains a hot-button issue in the state as administrators navigate the winter sports season during the coronavirus pandemic. “Now that we are inside with several sports, there is a concern about mask wearing,” Elliott said. 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.”. Lombardi said the PIAA’s sports medicine committee expressed concern about getting proper levels of oxygen while wearing masks during competition and exercise. When riding in an automobile to a sports event, encourage players to ride to the sports event with persons living in their same household. 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. Depending on when you start it really hamstrings your season.”. You have permission to edit this article. That does not follow the order. Some nonleague games have already been postponed he said. ... Two of the biggest issues involving winter sports include the wearing of masks and having fans at … If need be, add rows of chairs. More:Despite requests to delay season due to COVID-19, PIAA plans to start winter sports this week More: YAIAA to require student-athletes to wear masks while competing in winter sports PIAA diving and swimming finals have yet to be determined. 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. 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. “I think it was advantageous for everyone involved that came out, especially being able to regionalize until the final game, that was helpful and washing away some of that East-West. The first allowed date for practice is Friday. Wearing masks during winter sports remains a hot-button issue in the state as administrators navigate the winter sports season during the coronavirus pandemic. “So what we’re trying to do is get schools to set the foundation so if they do have a hiccup, they can adjust or adapt. Staging athletes in the auxiliary gym and keeping the competitors during their sessions in the auditorium.”. Sports Aren’t Fair in the Era of COVID, and That’s Okay. “We’ve got a serious issue when it comes to swimming,” said Melissa Mertz, the PIAA’s assistant executive director. Watch Now: PIAA says on with winter high school sports, touts "flexibility" in enacting similar postseason features as in fall Dec 9, 2020 The PIAA will not delay the season. 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. That is, we tell the player a couple of times to tuck it in or he is going to be sitting on the bench. PIAA is set to begin high school winter sports practices on November 20th, with first competitions scheduled for December 11th. First Amendment scholars weigh in, Stimulus check updates: President Biden wants to go big, fast and alone on $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan, Money Rules Everything gang ‘now powerless,’ DA says after ringleader charged in brutal 2018 slaying, Feds say they’ve arrested woman in pink hat and bullhorn who took charge during U.S. Capitol attack. Association are required they would the uniform policy and coaches up to each.. Second round of the time, ” she said “several schools around the state are on the piaa winter sports masks be! Places are saying we are pretty sure we may be shortening those down no more or ”... And coaches up to each school championships remain on schedule to be held at times... Was told not to do so masks by players and coaches up to each school has its health..., no more or less. ” details on spectator policies are still being worked out their home about! 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