PIAA extends postponement of spring sports, winter championships

Monday, March 23, 2020 | 5:20 PM

There’s still hope for high school sports to be held this spring.

In response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s directive that all schools in Pennsylvania remain closed for at least two more weeks, PIAA officials have extended the postponement of the possible restart of the winter basketball and swimming championships and the start of the spring sports season.

No date for resumed play has been determined by the PIAA, which halted its basketball and swimming championships in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The earliest students could return to school is April 6, tentatively.

The spring sports season was scheduled to begin last Friday for most sports, though boys tennis already had begun before the postponement.

The basketball championships would have been last Thursday through Saturday in Hershey. The swimming championships at Bucknell were halted before the two-day Class AA meet had begun.

“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,” the PIAA said in a statement. “We will provide more information as it becomes available to us.”

As of Monday afternoon, there were 48 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Allegheny County and 644 across Pennsylvania.

Wolf issued a stay-at-home directive Monday for residents of seven counties, including Allegheny.

PIAA officials said they will continue to rely on the guidance of the governor’s office, the department of health and department of education to provide updated information.

WPIAL associate executive director Amy Scheuneman said the WPIAL will continue to follow the direction of the PIAA.

“We are not in a position to make any speculation about what a potential spring season would look like,” she said, “but we will continue to be open minded through this process.”

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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