HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee Chairman Senator Scott Martin (R-13) issued the following statement today in response to the announcement that the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) will allow school sports to resume this fall with proper health and safety measures in place:
“Today’s announcement that school sports can resume this fall is a victory for young athletes, coaches, parents and common sense. School athletics play a vital role in the development of young people, and oftentimes offer a window to higher education opportunities. My thanks goes out to the PIAA for doing what is best for the physical, mental and emotional health of student-athletes.
“PIAA board members deserve a great deal of credit for their deliberate, evidence-based approach to this issue. We know that recreational leagues have been operating safely without incident or outbreaks throughout the summer, and our Athletic Oversight Committee hearing this week highlighted the fact that there is no data that indicates these activities present a danger in terms of increasing the spread of COVID-19.
“Local school boards are clearly in the best position to make decisions about the health and safety of students, and I am grateful that the PIAA has empowered them to make those decisions for themselves. The protocols set forth by the PIAA create a viable path forward for fall sports, and I encourage all student-athletes and coaches to take these guidelines very seriously. I firmly believe that we can enjoy a healthy fall season if we all do our part to be safe.
“Although today’s announcement is a giant leap forward for fall sports, our work is not over. We must continue to monitor the situation and update guidance as circumstances change. However, the PIAA deserves enormous credit for tackling this issue in a way that makes sense for all involved and giving our kids a chance to play.”
“I am also hopeful that we can revisit the issue of allowing a limited number of spectators for these events, so long as social distancing can be observed. As a recreational league football coach, I require a parent or guardian to be present in case of illness or injury. The role they play is invaluable, I strongly believe that parents and guardians should be able to see the fruits of the countless hours of practice and training in person.”
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535