Willie Colon

The Titusville Rockets winter sports teams would be able to play their first games on Saturday, Jan. 9, while the Maplewood Tigers winter sports teams can begin games on Friday, Jan. 8.

On Tuesday, the PIAA Board of Directors met for the final time in 2020 and the board announced a couple of changes for the upcoming winter sports season — assuming the restrictions from the governor’s office are lifted on Jan. 4, 2021.

The practice requirements for teams trying to begin the season were changed. Instead of keeping the prior 15-practice minimum to start playing regular season games, the Board voted to reduce that number to 10 for this season. However, teams that were able to reach the previous threshold must still conduct four days of practices to resume regular season play in January.

Also, a gradual scale of practice requirements for schools that did not complete their preseason practice schedule was approved. Teams that completed six or more days of practices must conduct four additional days of practices when the restrictions are lifted. Teams that conducted 0-5 preseason practice days must complete enough practices to reach the 10-practice minimum.

Virtual practices are not counted toward the threshold and multiple practices in one day would only count as one day of practice. Teams are also permitted to conduct scrimmages after five practices, unless teams conducted six or more preseason practices in which then only four practices are required.

“The Board felt it was important to establish a common theme for practices, where some schools started, some did not and some had a partial start,” PIAA President Frank Majikes said. “This will give member schools direction to return to competition on Jan. 4, 2021 per the Governor’s order.”

All Titusville teams were only able to get in five days of practices prior to being shutdown, according to the coaches, and therefore will be required to practice five additional times in order to begin the regular season. The earliest date for scrimmages and/or regular-season games for the Rockets is Saturday, Jan. 9.

Maplewood boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling teams will be cleared for regular season action or scrimmages on Friday, Jan. 8 since all three programs fall into the “six or more” category.

Also, the PIAA Board voted unanimously to postpone the team wrestling championships to a date to be determined that will be after the individual championships take place on March 5-8, 2020, in Hershey. According to the PIAA, the change was made to “accommodate schools by expanding the number of weeks for competition in the regular season.”

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