Delaware, Hawaii and Colorado recently voted to push most or all of their fall sports seasons to 2021, bringing the nationwide count to 13 state associations who will play next year over coronavirus concerns, according to data from the National Federation of High School Associations.
Delaware’s ruling on Thursday came a day after Hawaii pulled the plug on all fall sports (except bowling and rifling) for 2020. On Wednesday, Colorado announced it was moving most of its fall sports to 2021.
On Tuesday, Minnesota pushed its football and volleyball seasons into the spring, but kept other sports on track for a fall start.
DIAA board meeting has adjourned with no major further developments. The big news: No high school sports this fall, winter season practices will likely start around Dec. 14. Likely will play winter sports in Jan-Feb, fall sports in March-April, spring sports in May-June. #delhs
— Brad Myers (@BradMyersTNJ) August 6, 2020
Other state associations that have moved at least some of the fall sports season to 2021 include California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia and Washington. All 13 of those associations will not be playing football until at least the winter.
As of August 6, Delaware is the closest state to Connecticut to punt its 2020 fall season into the new year.
But during a Thursday press conference, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf suggested his state should also move the fall season.
“The guidance is we ought to avoid any congregate settings,” Wolf said. “That means anything that brings people together is going to help that virus get us. We ought to do everything we can to defeat that virus. Anytime we get together for any reason, that’s a problem, because it makes it easier for that virus to spread.
“So the guidance from us, the recommendation, is that we don’t do any sports until Jan. 1.”
VIDEO: Governor addresses sports in 2020… says his recommendation is for no sports until January 1, 2021.
Waiting for comment from the leagues and PIAA. pic.twitter.com/61BxMF92hz
— Allie Berube (@allieberube) August 6, 2020
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, which has mostly delayed the start of the fall season, held an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the issue further.
UPDATE (Aug. 7): In response to the governor, the PIAA announced Friday afternoon that it believed the season was safe enough to go forward, albeit in a delay.
“As we have noted, our member schools have worked diligently to develop health and safety plans in accordance with the Department of Health and Department of Education recommendations to allow students to safely return to interscholastic sports,” the PIAA said in a statement.
“The Board believes that the Governor’s strong recommendation to delay sports to January 1, 2021 has a potential negative impact on the students’ physical, social, emotional, and mental health. … PIAA is asking the Governor, along with the Departments of Health and Education, to partner with us and work collaboratively to further discuss fall sports. We are also seeking insight and discussion from the Pennsylvania General Assembly.”
PIAA Update: pic.twitter.com/pUe1ujr8FR
— PIAA (@PIAASports) August 7, 2020
Connecticut and the New England states along with New York and New Jersey remain committed to playing this fall, mostly in delayed starts.
They’re among 37 states are still scheduled to play fall sports in 2020, either on time or after a delay. North Carolina has announced a delay, but has yet to determine when it will begin.
Last week, Connecticut announced it would play a truncated fall sports season beginning Sept. 24. Although Governor Ned Lamont advisor Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel came out against playing, White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci gave a less-strict interpretation earlier this week.
“From what I’m seeing, the metrics in the state of Connecticut … you’re in a good place,” Fauci said. “But you still should abide by the (recommendations) that I mentioned, about the five or six things that you should adhere to. If you can do that in the context of safely doing sports, fine. If not, then you may have to suspend it.”
For more information visit NFHS.org.
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