The PIAA is staying with its forfeit policy throughout the state championships
It’s been nothing short of amazing that there is even high school football being played throughout Pennsylvania, considering the COVID-19 pandemic that’s disrupted almost every facet of daily life, it seems.
The PIAA has kept a vigil on teams and players throughout this trying season, and it will not back off throughout the postseason.
The governing body of Pennsylvania high school sports made a ruling earlier this summer that if a player tests positive during the postseason, his team would forfeit the playoff game.
It’s already occurring: In District 6 Class 1A last weekend, Bishop McCort forfeited its playoff game against Bishop Guilfoyle due to COVID. Guilfoyle now moves on to play Conemaugh Valley this Saturday. In the District 6 Class 2A game, No. 7 seed Cambria Height moves on to play Marion Center this Saturday, after the No. 2 seed Southern Huntingdon had to forfeit because of COVID-19.
Also, the No. 1 seed in District 3 Class 6A, Harrisburg, will have to forfeit its game against the No. 4 seed William Penn.
“We will be sticking with the policy and stay with the rule instituted this summer,” said PIAA executive director Dr. Robert Lombardi, who’s done a good job of navigated fall sports through this arduous time. “It’s day-to-day, in terms of feedback. We’re getting a lot of feedback and there are a lot of things out there in certain areas, that are not there in other areas. It’s certainly been challenging.
“The message to schools is for folks to take care of your own, and utilize all health and safety concerns, social distancing, wear masks, sanitize, and don’t put yourself in a position where you can be in deep waters. We’re hopeful that people can continue the great job that they’ve done. I think we have over 525 schools playing football this year. Our percentage (of COVID cases) hasn’t been too bad. It’s been pretty low. Hopefully, we can continue that for the next five weeks and get done by Thanksgiving and enjoy at least a full fall sports season.”
Lombardi has said that the PIAA is still keeping a close eye on the process.
“We took a real hard at this, we did our homework and I’m sure glad we took the opportunity to try,” Lombardi said. “We don’t think it will change. If a team has COVID-19 during the postseason, they will forfeit their game, and that policy will carry on straight through to the state championship weekend after Thanksgiving. If we didn’t try to play and we just blew it off, we would have missed a great opportunity for young people.”
The PIAA held a board meeting on Wednesday and no change was made to the PIAA’s COVID-19 forfeit policy.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been covering high school football since 1992 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito. Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball.
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: