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The PIAA updated its guidelines for returning to play during its board meeting on Wednesday.

Though the original PIAA plan was to proceed as normal with fall sports, school districts will now have the option of when they start their season.

If they proceed normally, heat acclimatization will start on August 10, and official practices will start on August 17. Golf teams will be able to compete on August 20, tennis on August 24, football on August 28 and the remaining sports on September 3.

The suggested alternate plan will have the same start dates for practices, but competition will not start until September 14.

Different sports are permitted to start at different times, but competition can not start any later than October 5, unless a waiver is granted.

“The PIAA Board of Directors is committed to meet again prior to the start of fall contests to monitor schools preseason participation and any issues that may arise from the start of the fall sports season,” a press release said.

Along with the schedule guidelines, the PIAA said that crowds will not be permitted at sporting events. This is in accordance with Gov. Tom Wolf’s Executive Order, which prohibits gathering of over 250 people, along with additional sports guidance from his administration.

The announcement barring spectators from attending games drew flak from many social media users, which prompted the PIAA to release a statement on Thursday afternoon, reiterating that they do not have a say in the decision.

“This is not a PIAA decision. PIAA is following the sports guidance put out by the Wolf Administration,” the statement said. “Please note if this guidance changes, PIAA will follow the information as permitted by the Department of Health, Department of Education and the Governor’s office.”

Some people have suggested contacting state representatives to urge the Wolf Administration to reverse the decision.

Ryan Sharp can be reached at rsharp@morning-times.com or (570) 888-9463 ext. 231. Follow @RealRyanSharp on Twitter.

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