High school sports are inching closer and closer to reopening, but it seems the goalpost keeps moving.
On Friday, the PIAA sent out a press release stating that it expects to have safety guidelines mapped out by next week. That wraps up a week in which Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said she anticipated guidelines coming by the end of the week, only for the Pennsylvania Department of Education to tell TribLive.com on Thursday that would not be the case.
According to the statement, the PIAA is also continually working with the PDE to create their own offseason workout guidelines to go along with each school’s individual plans.
The PDE released school reopening guidelines Wednesday morning, which touched on recess and gym class in the green phase but simply stated organized team sports guidelines would “be published separately.”
Right now teams are not allowed to hold offseason workouts until July 1, the start of the 2020-21 academic calendar. That date will hold until Gov. Tom Wolf's administration provides guidelines.
The PIAA unanimously approved in late May allowing offseason workouts for those teams that hit the green phase, opting to allow some teams to start practicing before others still in waiting. But that can’t take effect until schools get guidelines from Wolf and the PDE.
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The PIAA’s statement Friday did indicate that is still in play if the state releases guidelines in June.
The state’s high school sports governing body also asked schools “to evaluate return‐to‐play policies that address, at a minimum, the following areas: pre‐workout screening; limitations on number of students participating together; sanitizing facilities; permitted types of physical activity; usage of athletic equipment, and individualized hydration.”
The PIAA”s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee has already recommended “schools should tailor restart guidelines to fit a school’s local needs, as opposed to a reliance on a ‘one‐size fits all’ approach.”
The PIAA’s next meeting is June 15.
On June 12, Cumberland County will join 12 counties in the state moving to the green phase of the coronavirus reopening program the state set up to gradually reopen parts of the state. York County will also join that group, but Perry County remains in yellow.
The total number of counties in green is now at 34 after 16 counties joined the ranks Friday.
Sentinel Senior Day: Celebrating our local Class of 2020 spring athletes
Happy Sentinel Senior Day.
Today, we celebrate the Class of 2020 spring sports seniors — a class of more than 560 across more than a dozen schools in Cumberland County and Dillsburg.
You deserve a day dedicated to you. This was supposed to be an exciting spring — the most competitive, fun and important season of your high school careers. It was to be filled with laughs, sweaty practices and emotional wins over career rivals.
You had prom coming up, graduation around the corner. Some of you were still weighing decisions about your future, whether it be college or something else.
This is an important year for you all, and one you'll never forget. The coronavirus pandemic has made sure of that.
But today will not be about mourning those losses. Today, we celebrate.
Today, we recognize a historic class of student-athletes. Included in these pages are your memories and your future plans in your own words. There are photos — from the confines of home, in the midst of competition, in your Senior Day best — to accompany this. And a list of all of your classmates to remember for a long time.
You have the rest of your lives ahead of you. Some of you will get another chance to compete in college and perhaps beyond. Some will become doctors, entrepreneurs, community activists, firefighters, police officers or members of the military defending our country.
You may start a family one day. You may travel the world. You may build a life far away or right down the street from your childhood home. Maybe we’ll cover a few of you in the coming years as coaches. It will be exciting to see how your lives play out.
So, cheers to you. All of you. Congratulations on final careers as students and athletes, and good luck in your future endeavors, whatever shape they may take.
- The Sentinel Sports Staff: Jake Adams, Mallory Merda and Michael Heaton
The Sentinel celebrates the Bulldogs spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Bubblers spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Lions spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Thundering Herd spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Colts spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Eagles spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Panthers spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Wildcats spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Polar Bears spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Patriots spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Greyhounds spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Shamrocks spring senior athletes.
The Sentinel celebrates the Bobcats spring senior athletes.
Email Mallory Merda at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @MalloryMerda