PIAA suspends chapter meetings for game officials until state reopens schools

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 | 5:59 PM

The PIAA Officials Council has suspended all chapter meetings until Gov. Tom Wolf reopens schools, the PIAA announced in an email to Pennsylvania high school sports officials.

Officials are required to attend six meetings to maintain their PIAA registration, but that number could be relaxed, PIAA assistant executive director Patrick Gebhart said Monday. The PIAA Officials Council met for an emergency meeting to discuss the covid-19 outbreak.

Wolf closed the state’s schools for at least two weeks, until March 30.

“As we near the reopen date for schools, the Council will meet again to determine the number of meeting(s) officials may be required to attend to remain registered,” Gebhart wrote in Monday’s email. “As with everything related to this pandemic all options are on the table. This is a fluid situation that can change by the minute.”

Chapter meetings are held often and typically at schools. For example, chapter meetings for WPIAL baseball umpires were scheduled Tuesday in Jeannette, Mt. Pleasant, Springdale and West Mifflin, according to the PIAA website.

The council also discussed how to address registration fees already paid by officials. Spring sports seasons are currently suspended and their future remains in doubt.

“The Council felt it was somewhat premature to make a decision regarding these fees and as a result, voted to revisit this issue as we are provided more information from the Governor regarding the opening of schools and the resumption of the spring sports season,” Gebhart said.

He encouraged officials to take an online preseason test for chapter meeting credit. The test can be found on each official’s profile page at PIAA.org. If officials need assistance locating the test, they can contact the PIAA office, which will be open with limited staffing.

In the meantime, as the coronavirus pandemic evolves, Gebhart urged officials to stay safe and follow guidelines provided by health officials.

“I hope we can all agree, while high school athletics are a big part of a student’s learning, nothing is bigger than their health and safety and the Governor’s actions demonstrate that,” Gebhart said. “Each and every PIAA official adds to that student’s education and when athletics come back into schools, we hope each of you remain an active part of that education.”

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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