MECHANICSBURG, Pa. COVID-19 won’t stop the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association winter season from happening, but it certainly will look different than in years past.
During the PIAA Board of Directors zoom meeting on Wednesday, several major changes were announced, which included the winter sports postseason.
The theme is fewer state qualifiers, and that starts in basketball, where only the district champions will move on to the PIAA playoffs. The PIAA adopted a similar structure for the fall playoffs as well.
The district playoff deadline in basketball was also extended to March 15, allowing for a longer regular season.
Wrestling will also look very different, beginning with the team championships, where again, just the district champions will qualify for the PIAA tournament. The first two rounds will be wrestled at local sites, with the semifinals, finals and consolation finals taking place at Hershey’s Giant Center.
In the individual postseason, there will be a super regional added after the traditional regional events, with eight wrestlers advancing to the one-day state tournament in each classification.
The PIAA swimming championships will also feature a reduced number of qualifiers.
Other news and notes from the meeting:
- The PIAA passed a motion that if there is a disagreement between competing schools over whether athletes have to wear masks during a contest, the game will be declared “no contest” and not a forfeit if the game is not played.
- The PIAA passed a motion to allow teams to compete in regular season events until the state championships, something that football in particular took advantage of during the fall season.
- The PIAA passed a motion PIAA that if a team misses more than seven consecutive days of practice due to a school closure, it will need to have two practices before it resumes competitions.