Mask policies for spectators will vary at WPIAL postseason events

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Monday, May 17, 2021 | 7:51 PM


Spectators will be asked to wear masks Wednesday at the WPIAL track and field championships at Slippery Rock University despite the recent change to the statewide mandate.

However, policies at other WPIAL events, including playoff games and championships, will vary by venue, WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman said Monday. The host school or facility will set mask requirements.

Mask use was a requisite from the university to host the track championships.

“We’ll work with the facilities on what their requirements are,” Scheuneman said, “and following their guidance in what they would like to see happen. If they say they’re going to require masks, then we’ll require masks.”

The WPIAL plans to meet with administrators at Wild Things Park in the coming days to finalize plans for the baseball finals June 1-2.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said people who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask in most situations, a policy that Pa. health officials also adopted statewide. However, individual locations, such as businesses or schools, can still set their own mask policies.

The WPIAL plans to hold the individual track championship in two sessions, with Class AA athletes competing in the morning and Class AAA in the afternoon. There will be 2,000 spectators allowed for each session.

Athletes are not required to wear a mask during outdoor competition, according to state guidelines.

Consolation for baseball, softball

The WPIAL board voted Monday to add consolation games for Class 5A and 2A baseball and softball. Those classifications qualify four teams apiece for the state playoffs.

The WPIAL had intended to use a follow-the-winner format, in which the third-place qualifier is whichever team lost in the semifinals to the eventual champion. Instead, third and fourth place now will be decided on the field.

Classifications with three state qualifiers (4A, 3A and A) already had third-place consolation games scheduled. Class 6A sends only two teams to the state playoffs, so no consolation game is needed.

Scheuneman said the WPIAL hopes to hold the baseball consolation games at Washington & Jefferson’s field as usual, but wasn’t certain the schedule would work. W&J’s field is adjacent to Wild Things Park.

The WPIAL softball finals are June 2-3 at Cal (Pa.). The consolation games will be held elsewhere since Cal has only one field.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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