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Pennsylvania Governor Halts Prep Sports Until Jan. 4

Brock Fritz

High school sports in Pennsylvania were shut down the same day they started.

Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf announced new COVID-19 mitigated measures on Thursday, including pausing all sports for kindergarten through 12th-grade students until Jan. 4.

“COVID thrives where people gather together,” Wolf said on Twitter. “The measures announced today will target high-risk environments and aim to slow the devastating spread of the virus.”

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the new measures, which come amid rising COVID-19 cases, were announced on the same day that the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association allowed games for winter prep sports to start. With the order going into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, some games will likely be played before the shutdown. Winter teams have been allowed to practice since Nov. 20.

“We kind of expected this to come. We will adjust accordingly,” said Amy Scheuneman, executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, which sponsors basketball, wrestling, swimming, gymnastics, rifle and cheer in the winter. “At our meeting, we talked about — regardless of what was decided (by Wolf) — we will move forward with a plan to allow schools to have as much time as possible to play contests. We hope those efforts are successful and we hope we are back Jan. 4.”

The PIAA, which was able to hold seasons this fall, announced Thursday night that it will update its membership with a Friday press release. A new PIAA rule requires teams that don’t practice for more than 14 days to hold four days of practice before playing a game.

Related content: Mask Mandate Creates Confusion for PIAA

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