PIAA to Wolf: Kids are going to play sports anyway, so ...

The (Allentown) Morning Call (TNS)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association thinks organized fall school sports should go ahead during the coronavirus pandemic because youth are going to play anyway, and school oversight might provide the safest framework.

That was a theme of a new letter from PIAA to Gov. Tom Wolf reviewed by The Morning Call.

It was dated Tuesday, four days after PIAA pushed the start of fall sports back by two weeks in response to Wolf’s public recommendation to scrub the entire season. Wolf said he wanted to safeguard people against the virus.

“Sports are going to be played by youth, whether within the PIAA structure or otherwise, and that doing so within the educational umbrella may provide the safest means for that to occur,” PIAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Lombardi wrote in the letter.

Bob Lombardi

He went on to say that youth have been playing sports all summer.

“In the public domain, golf courses and tennis facilities have hosted numerous competitive tournaments. Many charitable organizations have hosted road races,” Lombardi wrote. “The sports of field hockey, volleyball, basketball, baseball and soccer have had countless age group tournaments across the commonwealth. To our knowledge, none have reported problems with coronavirus breakouts.”

A spokeswoman for Wolf said in an email, “We received a copy of the letter and have been in contact with the PIAA about further discussions.”