Calls for parents to attend school sporting events after PIAA releases guidelines

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Friday, July 31, 2020
Calls for PIAA to allow fans at school sports
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Thousands of people have signed an online petition, opposing Pennsylvania's spectator ban at school sporting events.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition calling for parents to be allowed to attend school sporting events, opposing Pennsylvania's ban on spectators.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association on Wednesday released more guidance for fall school sports in its Return to Competition: Individual Sport Considerations guidelines.

It noted the state, at this time, is not allowing spectators at scholastic sporting events.

"At this time spectators for K-12 events are not allowed," the PIAA said.

On Thursday, the Association responded to questions it was receiving regarding spectators, pointing out it was not their decision..

"PIAA has received many inquiries regarding the ability of spectators to attend school athletic events. This is not a PIAA decision. PIAA is following the sports guidance put out by the Wolf Administration," the PIAA said.

Should spectators eventually be permitted to attend, mitigation measures would likely include mask-wearing and sitting 6 feet apart, the PIAA said.

"While I understand that the decision to not allow spectators was a difficult one to make, I am forced to ask the question, 'Have we explored all feasible options and is this the very best that we can give our athletes and their families?'" petition organizer Tina Marie wrote.

State Senator Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, is also asking the Wolf administration to issue guidelines that will allow spectators, especially parents, to attend fall school sporting events.

"It is my belief that the Commonwealth can safely permit spectators, parents and family members to attend fall athletic events if proper mitigation measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Martin wrote in a letter to Wolf on Thursday.

If people can shop in stores, go to indoor sports venues and attend outdoor car shows under state Department of Health guidance, then the department can develop similar guidelines to give schools the ability to allow spectators to safely watch athletic events, Martin wrote.


The Associated Press contributed to this report