PIAA takes no action, awaits new state guidance on fans at high school sports events


The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association met Wednesday but didn't take action on high school sports crowd limits.

The PIAA will wait for new spectator guidance from Gov. Tom Wolf's administration later this week, according to Melissa Mertz, the PIAA associate executive director. Wolf said Wednesday that the new spectator guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education could be released Thursday or Friday.

At a work session Wednesday, the PIAA Board of Directors discussed information it gathered from member districts on the state of fall sports, Mertz said.

When the fall sports season opened Friday, school districts worked to limit the total number of people at sporting events to 250 people outdoors and 25 indoors, including athletes, coaches and officials. That severely limited the number of fans to almost zero at indoor events and 150 or fewer at outdoor events.

However, on Monday, U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled that several of Wolf's orders pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic were unconstitutional. Included in his ruling was the state guidance that placed size limits on gatherings.

Wolf said Wednesday that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro was preparing an appeal of the judge's order. In the meantime, Wolf will release new guidance as school districts decide whether to increase their crowd sizes at sporting events, particularly football games, this weekend.

The PIAA is set to meet as a board on Sept. 23, and spectator policies could be on the table.