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Author Topic: Governors Youth Sports Recommendation: No Supporting Scientific Data  (Read 1772 times)

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2 weeks ago PA Governor Tom Wolf recommended shutting down scholastic and recreational youth sports. A joint recommendation between the PADOH and the governors office which provided no further insight into why the recommendation had been made.

PA State Rep Jesse Topper is the congressional official whose speech went viral last week, seen below, looked for further clarification and what was learned is that there is no actual scientific data to support the governor's proclamation.

Last week's youth sports viral video


Full statement:

House Republican Lawmakers: Lack of DOH Data Justifying Governor’s PIAA Recommendation Underscores Need for Legislative Fix

HARRISBURG – In response to a Right to Know Law request filed by Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) after the governor’s “strong recommendation” that interscholastic and club sports be cancelled until January 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) confirmed there is no supporting data to justify their recommendation. To read the response, click here.
“The fact that data was not used to make the recommendation by the governor to cancel sports this upcoming semester begs the question about what other policies from the governor were made without any data or science to support them? This is exactly why it was so important for Act 77 to become law and likely why the governor strongly opposed and wanted to veto the measure,” Grove said. “Pennsylvanians deserve to know the data and science being used to create policies that impact the lives of millions of residents. They shouldn’t be forced to blindly follow a leader who appears to create policy unilaterally on a whim.” 
House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) argued the lack of data and justification shows why already-introduced legislation is necessary.
"From the beginning of this pandemic, the Wolf administration has been making decisions that impact the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Pennsylvanians without involving the people's representatives in the legislature and without concern for the unintended consequences of wide-ranging and inconsistent orders, guidance, and recommendations. Thanks to the strong work of Rep. Grove, we now know that the administration has made the unilateral decision to strongly recommend the cancellation of fall sports without the Department of Health having any corresponding data to justify their decision,” said Benninghoff.
“The legislation being offered by Representative Reese and Representative Topper will ensure that these decisions can truly be made on the local level. I thank Chairman Sonney for agreeing to bring these bills up for a vote to ensure they can be presented to the caucus swiftly upon our return. The House Republican Caucus stands united in standing up for the safety of all Pennsylvanians as we learn to live with this virus.”
Chairman of the House Education Committee Curt Sonney (R-Erie) noted the Reese and Topper bills will be considered on Thursday.
"As chairman of the House Education Committee, I have held several hearings where we have heard from stakeholders and school districts on the importance of reopening schools for our students this fall," said Sonney. "Sports and extracurricular activities are a huge part of every student's academic career and are vital for their mental and social development. Postponing fall sports for our students will create more harm than good. Students need to be in school and be involved in school activities. That's why we are acting quickly to get these bills moved through committee."
Rep. Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland), a member of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Oversight Committee, said his legislation to give local control over whether to start fall sports is important to ensure those wishing to do so can return to sports safely.
"The governor’s announcement to stop all high school sports until January 1 came as a complete shock to students, parents and even PIAA officials,” said Reese. "Study after study shows that students who are involved in sports and extracurricular activities thrive better in the classroom and develop crucial life skills like self-discipline, leadership, and teamwork. Taking fall sports away from our students means taking away the opportunity for them to hone and develop these skills. My legislation would simply allow the local school districts to make decisions regarding sports--not the legislature and not the governor. It's about giving power to the schools to make the best decision for their students and communities."
Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford), who has introduced legislation to empower parents of students and student athletes to have their children repeat a year of school should they feel they missed an important athletic or educational opportunity, underscored the lack of DOH data as a reason for his legislation.
“Students must be given opportunities to fulfill their dreams and pursue their passions. House Bill 2788 would give students and families the option to continue a child’s academic and extracurricular activities for an additional year should those options not be available for the upcoming school year,” Topper said “In light of the revelation that no data was used by the governor in regards to his recommendation to cancel school sports, it would seem as though there is no logical reason that our kids shouldn’t be afforded these opportunities.”
Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Pike/Wayne), who is also on the PIAA Oversight Committee, noted he is proud to support Reps. Reese and Topper in their legislation.
“Our local community leaders were tasked with the challenge of creating a school safety plan to allow for fall sports engagements and in-class learning, and they deserve the right to be heard,” said Peifer. “Reps. Jesse Topper and Mike Reese address the need for fall sports and activities decisions to fall under the power of our local school districts through legislation that they introduced last week. I am proud to be a cosponsor for these much needed bills and firmly believe that these specific decisions are best made at the local level where our school leaders can best dictate what would work best for their students, staff, and community.”

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Reply #1:
 August 17, 2020, 01:25:28 PM
This is how they arrive at the recommendation that affects hundreds of thousands of children in pennsylvania? Because they say so and thats it?
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Reply #2:
 August 17, 2020, 01:31:34 PM
What a nonsense statement.

The science is "avoid unnecessary crowds".  Yeah, the limits on the number of people are arbitrary and frustratingly low for us as hockey parents.  But we didn't need to commission a study to determine that large gatherings help sustain a pandemic.

If the people of Dover county want to have fall sports, they can elect to operate independently of Wolf's recommendation.  Their problem is they know they'll get hammered if they play football and an outbreak occurs.  Nobody wants to stick their neck out on this one, because at the end of the day youth sports aren't necessary, just a lot of fun.
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Reply #3:
 August 17, 2020, 01:39:25 PM
We can go to Walmart, Lowes, which are essential. Now how is a casino at 50% capacity and movie theaters at 30% capacity ok but not sports. People at movies will not be wearing masks while eating popcorn and drinking soda. The casino may have people wearing masks but everything is being touched and they aren't sanitizing between each player all the time. Wolf pick and choice as usual.
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Reply #4:
 August 17, 2020, 01:46:59 PM
No one is stopping kids from playing hockey.  The 25 person limit is stupid, but constantly whining here about it isn't going to change anything and is just wasted energy.  Stop acting like a victim and make the best of a bad situation for your kids.
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Reply #5:
 August 17, 2020, 02:01:53 PM
What a nonsense statement.

The science is "avoid unnecessary crowds".  Yeah, the limits on the number of people are arbitrary and frustratingly low for us as hockey parents.  But we didn't need to commission a study to determine that large gatherings help sustain a pandemic.

If the people of Dover county want to have fall sports, they can elect to operate independently of Wolf's recommendation.  Their problem is they know they'll get hammered if they play football and an outbreak occurs.  Nobody wants to stick their neck out on this one, because at the end of the day youth sports aren't necessary, just a lot of fun.

There should be an explanation to back up claims like their recommendation like where are they coming up with their numbers and what are the statistics that prove or disprove why you can have 50 people in one place that is 10 times smaller than a rink but only 25 on ice in the rink and nobody near the kids with masks on off the ice. The department of health response says they have no data that's none. It's not one size fits all especially when all of the data shows drops in every aspect of the virus now that the CDC isn't identifying every test as a confirmed case.
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Reply #6:
 August 17, 2020, 03:35:35 PM
Guest 2 - click on the link in the article. It's an official statement from the department of health that they have no point of reference and no documentation. If you hold your state hostage you should have something to back up your position.
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Reply #7:
 August 17, 2020, 04:01:31 PM
Guest 2 - click on the link in the article. It's an official statement from the department of health that they have no point of reference and no documentation. If you hold your state hostage you should have something to back up your position.

The DOH statement was in reference to his recommendation on 8/6 that youth sports be suspended until January 2021. It remains a recommendation that no one needs to follow.

It has nothing to do with the limit of 25 people for an in-person gathering, which was released back in June.   That's the same limit in NY, MA, NJ, MD and WV - between those 6 states there's a 50/50 split between party lines at governor, so I'd assume it's grounded in something beyond not wanting to let you watch your kid skate.
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Reply #8:
 August 18, 2020, 10:15:18 AM
Of course! Would anybody actually expect either of them to have a clue?
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Reply #9:
 August 18, 2020, 11:34:49 AM
I’m fine with watching on LiveBarn if it means my kids are able to play.

The problem is that with the 25 person indoor limit the kids are not able to play - at least not how the game is intended to be played. 

I don’t think having half the kids on the ice and the other half in the locker room is the answer either.

With the size of the rink and all the ventilation that ice rinks have for air handling (humidity control, ventilation for ice resurfacing equipment) there should be a logical argument for allowing a larger capacity.

However - there is no room for logic here.

The Governor/SOH should consider granting an exception or raise the capacity limit to 50 for ice hockey/ice rinks.  The fact is that they don’t care about hockey and aren’t likely to make any exceptions.  So we’re basically screwed until someone arbitrarily decides it’s safe enough to ease up on their unsubstantiated and onerous restrictions.

The kids won’t get to play, the clubs and the rinks will suffer financially.
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WPIAL Will Defy Governors Orders

Started by GuestBoard General Youth Hockey Info

Replies: 6
Views: 1465
Last post August 28, 2020, 08:28:55 AM
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