MECHANICSBURG — Pennsylvania's governing body for high school athletics announced Thursday afternoon the cancellation of all remaining winter and spring sports championships.
The PIAA made the announcement official just after 3 p.m. The swimming and diving championships as well as state basketball playoffs for boys and girls have been in a holding pattern since Gov. Tom Wolf then-temporarily closed schools throughout the state on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wolf announced schools would remain closed throughout the end of the school year earlier on Thursday.
“Today’s decision by the PIAA Board of Directors was difficult for everyone," PIAA Executive Director Dr. Robert A. Lombardi said. "Their thoughts remain on the thousands of student-athletes, coaches, officials and family members affected by this decision. However, the Board’s position reflects a steadfast priority of keeping our student-athletes, officials and member schools’ staffs and their communities safe, while following the guidelines provided by the Governor, the Department of Health and the Department of Education.”
Mohawk High School's girls basketball team, which earlier this winter won the school's first WPIAL championship, was set to play in the state quarterfinals on March 13. The PIAA's move to cancel all remaining events adds it to the 17 other states which have made similar moves.
"We had maintained hope for a continuation of our winter championships and an abbreviated spring season to help bring a sense of normalcy to our communities,” Lombardi said. “As we navigate through this difficult time we need to remember the lessons that interscholastic athletics has taught us: cooperation, patience, sacrifice, responsibility, respect and perseverance.”
The PIAA Board of Directors will meet in the coming months to address any concerns that arise from the membership from the pandemic. While PIAA remains hopeful that summer activities will be able to commence July 1, it is still too early to reach any decisions or offer guidance at this time, the organization said.
In providing any further guidance to the membership, PIAA will continue to monitor any additional information provided by the Governor’s Office, Department of Health or Department of Education as it relates to interscholastic athletics.