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After meeting with governor's staff, PIAA vows to move forward toward fall sports season

The PIAA Board of Directors will meet next Friday to discuss the start of fall sports, executive director Robert Lombardi said.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — In a brief statement Friday, the Pennsyvlania Interscholastic Athletic Association said it met with members of Governor Tom Wolf's staff to discuss the governor's "strong recommendation" that all youth sports be cancelled through the end of 2020.

"We discussed many different scenarios, including schools' health and sports' safety strategies, local liability protection, and options for moving ahead with fall sports," the PIAA said in a tweet. "The governor's staff repeatedly said this is a local school decision.

"The PIAA is concerned the governor's 'strong' recommendation last week and comments in (Thursday's) press conference were not based upon Pennsylvania sports specific data and the recommendation has been perceived as a mandate by member schools. PIAA is very aware of the negative impact postponment of fall sports will have upon our 350,000 student-athletes and their families."

PIAA executive director Robert Lombardi said the organization will continue to advocate for athletic activities for the benefit of student-athletes.

"Since March, PIAA has taken a measured approach in a step-by-step basis to assist our membership in developing Return to Competition Guidelines that will assist in providing schools with a framework to develop best practices for a safe return to play."

To that end, Lombardi said, the PIAA Board of Directors will meet next Friday to discuss the start of the fall sports season.