The Pittsfield School Committee voted unanimously yesterday to postpone all fall  high school sports, despite state regulations allowing most to take place.

According to committee members agreed to officially "postpone all interscholastic athletic activities in the Pittsfield Public Schools through Nov. 30  2020 with the hope for a three-season 'float,' with determination of interscholastic athletic activities subsequent to Nov. 30 to be made by the school committee."

Last week the MIAA's Board of Directors voted to unanimously approve a recommendation from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the MIAA’s COVID-19 Task Force, under the guidelines of the state's Office of Environmental and Energy Affairs (EEA). Those recommendations would allow for moderate risk sports to play during the fall season and higher risk sports, such as football, to play during a “floating season” to take place in the spring.

Jim Abel, Athletic Director for PPS recommend to essentially suspend all fall athletics with hopes of resuming them at a later date. He said the Berkshire County Athletic Directors Association recently met and hoped to vote on a countywide recommendation to present to principals and school committees.

I want athletics as much as anyone else...Given our position and the type of organization that we are, I just don't think it is responsible to not offer in-person education in our schools but consider in-person athletics. It seems contradictory.

Jim Abel, Athletic Director PPS via iBerkshires

As far as the future of High School sports beyond the fall season, things will certainly look different this year, the spring season would likely end deeper into the summer. The Athletic Director said Nov. 30 is typically the starting date of winter athletics and that he will continue to monitor the situation with "faith and optimism."
Berkshire County Principals Association also met to discuss the Athletic Directors' vote and went in a different direction. Principals voted to postpone all fall sports and move them to the floating season.

In addition, outgoing Pittsfield Public Schools Superintendent Jake McCandless said that the decision remains up to the School Committee as long as the district is fully remote, however, once students return to school, the decision technically falls to the administration.

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