PIAA emphasizes ban on spectators comes from Gov. Wolf — not PIAA

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Thursday, July 30, 2020 | 3:39 PM


The PIAA released a statement Thursday emphasizing that the current ban on spectators at high school sports events was imposed by Gov. Tom Wolf — not the PIAA.

The clarification came a day after the PIAA board approved new covid-19 guidelines that said, for now, spectators won’t be allowed at games this fall.

“The PIAA has received many inquiries regarding the ability of spectators to attend school athletic events,” the PIAA wrote Thursday. “This is not a PIAA decision. PIAA is following the sports guidance put out by the Wolf Administration.”

The governor’s office announced covid-19 guidelines for restarting professional, college and high school sports on June 10 and updated them July 15. Those guidelines say: “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. The addition of visitors and spectators will be contingent upon further health conditions within the state and local communities.”

The PIAA board approved its new sport-specific guidelines Wednesday.

According to those PIAA guidelines, “At this time spectators for K-12 are not allowed,” but the PIAA added, “We anticipate that more information will be forthcoming from the Governor’s Office and Department of Education.”

The governor also has a 250-person limit on all outdoor gatherings.

Should spectators eventually be permitted to attend high school games, the PIAA anticipates “that such attendance will be subject to some important limitations.”

The PIAA guidelines say spectators from different households must be 6 feet apart. Adults must wear face masks, and they shouldn’t enter the field of play or bench areas.

“If by chance spectators are allowed, we put some directions in there for them,” PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said Wednesday. “We didn’t say spectators aren’t allowed. … We follow the guidance that has been put out.”

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

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