PIAA cuts practice requirements for teams after winter season resumes
It wasn't as interesting as Allen Iverson's famous news conference from nearly two decades ago, but Tuesday's PIAA board of directors meeting was largely focused on the same topic — practice.
PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi detailed a policy change in winter sports that was approved for this season only. It cuts the required amount of preseason practices from 15 to 10.
The goal of this adjustment is to give schools the opportunity to schedule more games in a season already cut down by the current COVID-19 restrictions in Pennsylvania, which has put youth sports on pause until Jan. 4. Those restrictions were put in place Gov. Tom Wolf.
For example, a school such as Central York, which held just three practices before the pause on Dec. 12, will now need to meet seven more times before the Panthers can play in a game. Before the update to the policy, Central York would have had to have 12 more practices and would've been unable to play a game until Jan. 18, at the earliest.
The four-practice requirement following a 14-day break was not changed during the meeting, which means that the first day any winter sports contests could occur is still Jan. 8. Sports that use off-campus facilities, such as swimming and bowling, need only five preseason practices.
In addition to the practice changes, the PIAA approved another schedule update. The team wrestling championships were postponed to a date to be named later to allow schools more time to compete in contests.
The event is likely to be held between March 13 and March 27, but Lombardi said it could be on March 29 or March 30 if scheduling conflicts force a move past the end of the winter season on March 27.
Lawsuit update: Along with the updates to the winter sports season, the PIAA board announced it has filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, asking to be exempt from the state's Right To Know Law.
Lombardi said the organization has exhausted all legislative opportunities over the past decade to appeal the ruling before filing the suit, which he said the PIAA did not want to do until it was its final option because of the cost and the potential criticism the move would bring.
"The board feels the PIAA is the only nonprofit corporation that is in the Right To Know Law," Lombardi said. "We are not a state-established entity and the legislation seems to single us out as an association."
The PIAA board is set to meet again Jan. 6.
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.