Team Wrestling Championships

Members of the Southern Columbia wrestling team watch Tigers’ Max Tillett take on Reynolds’ Evan Miller in the 220-pound bout of the championship match in the 2020 PIAA 2A Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey.

MECHANICSBURG — The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) on Wednesday approved moving the team wrestling semifinals and finals to Cumberland Valley High School during its board of directors meeting.

The move comes from a schedule conflict at the Giant Center, Hershey, with basketball state championships, which will be held March 27 — the same date that was set for day three of the team wrestling championships. The first round will be held Monday, March 22, and the quarterfinals will take place Wednesday, March 24.

Normally, team wrestling championships are held prior to the individual tournament, which began last Saturday with sectionals. Due to the time constraints following the 3-week shutdown in December, the team tournament was postponed until further notice.

Several districts opted to cancel a team tournament and crown a champ based on team standings in the individual tournament. The team who finished first overall in the individual tournament will advance to states.

The PIAA could have decided to crown a state champ in each class based solely on team standings in the individual tournament, however, they opted to go with the traditional team tournament.

“We think it’s important (to do a team tournament),” said PIAA Executive Director Dr. Robert A. Lombardi. “There are kids on the team who develop a good, strong team who might not qualify individually.”

Only district champions will qualify for the team state tournament.

The individual wrestling tournament continues with Regionals this Saturday. Super Regionals will take place March 6 and the championships will be divided into two days by classification — Class 2A will be Friday, March 12, and 3A will be Saturday, March 13.

The maximum capacity for the Giant Center, which includes everyone within the arena, is 500. Spectators will be allowed, but guidelines are not established as of Wednesday.

Basketball state championships will not be doubleheaders this year and tickets will not be valid for more than one contest.

Spring sports

As part of several items that were discussed by the strategic planning committee, the board approved spring sports to begin practice on Monday, March 8, and the first date of contests will be Friday, March 26.

The board changed the preseason requirements of 15 practices to 10 practices. This allows teams, pending a shutdown, flexibility to reach 10 practices within a 15-day span before the first date of contests.

Eligibility motion

Another item, which was accepted on a first reading basis, will change the consecutive semesters of eligibility for high school athletes.

The current bylaw gives athletes eight consecutive semesters of eligibility from eighth grade through 12th grade. The motion, if approved on a further reading, would change the bylaw to 12 consecutive semesters of eligibility from sixth grade through 12th.

The board stated the change is an attempt to disallow athletes to reclassify in eighth grade.

Team allotment

The board will allow a team allotment of 25 people for each basketball team who qualifies for the state tournament. The number includes athletes, coaches, managers and trainers.

Each team will be provided 25 passes, which are similar to a press pass, to distribute.

Livestreaming

Livestreaming for wrestling competitions, starting with the Super Regionals, will be broadcasted on FloWrestling.

Excluding the basketball state championships, which are broadcasted by PCN, schools can livestream state playoff basketball games at a cost of $200. If a school steams through the NFHS Network, the stream will be free, but those without an NFHS login must become a member.

PCN will be broadcasting the swimming state championships. State swimming events will not have spectators this year due to gathering limitations, but diving competitions will. No guidelines are finalized for diving spectator limits.

Face covering certification

The board discussed creating a universal face covering certification for the PIAA postseason. The form is developed and is authorized to be used by districts as needed, but is not mandatory.

In summary, the form certification states all athletes, coaches, cheerleaders and spectators must wear a mask unless an individual falls under a medical exemption under Section 3 of the updated mask mandate.

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