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PIAA weighing changes to football schedule

The PIAA is considering major changes to the football schedule.

The state’s governing body for interscholastic sports announced last week it is exploring the possibility of beginning the season several weeks earlier this year.

According to executive director Dr. Robert Lombardi, the PIAA “learned some lessons” when it was forced to condense the fall schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the PIAA failed to make a decision on fall sports until late in last summer, it still managed to get through the season and play state championship games before December.

Lombardi said during a board of directors meeting last week that wrapping up the football season during Thanksgiving weekend was “advantageous for everybody.”

The first Friday of the regular season is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 27. Football championships are set for Dec. 9-11.

“We may start where we are right now or we may start a week earlier,” said Lombardi, who said that reducing the 10-week regular season or playoffs is an option.

“There are a whole lot of possibilities,” he said.

The PIAA football season has traditionally ended in early December. This has caused overlap with winter sports. This year the overlap wasn’t an issue because of the coronavirus-shortened season.

“We learned lessons last fall,” Lombardi said, “and there are some things we want to look at.”

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